INJURED – 19 October 2005 – Salmon Creek Beach, Sonoma County, California, US – surfer attacked

Megan Halavais, 20, was surfing at the Boardwalk surf spot at Salmon Creek Beach, Northern California when she was attacked by a 14-foot Great White shark. She suffered wounds to her right leg after being pulled under the water and fighting off the shark.

Halavais of Santa Rosa was surfing with six or seven other surfers at Salmon Creek Beach just north of Bodega Bay when the attack happened at 10.30am, according to press reports.

Brit Horn, a lifeguard at Sonoma Coast State Beach, witnessed the attack.

“I heard her scream, looked over and saw a very large fin, and saw her go under water,” Horn told the media. “Then the fin disappeared and she popped up along with her board.”

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle Halavais told authorities that she had been lying on her surfboard when what she believed to be a 14-foot-long, great white shark hit her from behind. The shark grabbed her by the right leg, pulled her under water and shook her. She fought back and grabbed the shark by what she believes was its tail, and the shark let go.

She paddled to shore accompanied by the other surfers, one of whom ran 800 metres to the nearest road and drove to a phone to call for help.

She was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with five lacerations to the leg.

A hospital spokeswoman said she was in a stable condition and described the main bite wound as 45cm long running form her thigh to her calf.

Her surfboard also had bite marks according to park rangers who recovered her board.


San Francisco Chronicle

Washington Post

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