Possible shark attack reported at Corona Del Mar

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Orange County lifeguards reported a possible shark attack took place off Corona del Mar State Beach Sunday, prompting them to close down a stretch of the beach from Corona Del Mar to Newport Beach.

The victim was a woman swimming about 150 yards off shore when it happened. Luckily for her there was a lifeguard boat patrolling in that area that saw her in distress. They pulled her from the water and alerted the other lifeguards in the area, who then began evacuating the water off those beaches.

Aerial surveillance didn’t spot any sharks or sea lions in the area, but the lifeguards are weighing the possibility of keeping Corona Del Mar to Newport Beach Pier closed on Monday.

The victim was taken to the Orange County Global Medical Center. Although her injuries are considered serious, authorities at the hospital don’t believe they are life threatening and they said the injuries are consistent with those of a shark attack.

This attack comes after a series of shark sightings along the coast in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties. On May 3 several beach-goers and at least one surfer saw a juvenile great white jump clear out of the water off Sunset Beach in Los Angeles County and on April 23 a shark was sighted off Pismo Beach by surfers.

From April 10 through April 24 surfers and beach-goers spotted great whites off San Onofre State Beach in two different locations.

In March a surfer off Bolsa Chica State Beach was bumped off his board by what is believed to have been a juvenile great white. The beach was closed for the day.

Researchers had tagged several sharks in the summer of 2015 and they said some of those sharks are still in the area.

People heading to the beach for the holiday should be aware there are always sharks off Southern California, in water as shallow as 3-4 feet. They very rarely attack humans, but often put a scare into surfers or other people in the water.

The biggest hazard from a sea creature: stepping on a stingray that is buried in the sand. When at the beach it is strongly suggested that you shuffle through the sandy bottom so the stingrays will swim away before you step on them.

The other more prominent beach hazards are rip currents, which can carry a person out into deep waters quickly. Be aware of the rip current areas marked by the lifeguards and always swim near lifeguards so they can assist in the event of an emergency. If you are caught in a rip current swim parallel to the beach until you are out of the rip current and then swim back to shore. Don’t try to swim against the current.

Above photo of Oceanside Beach by Tim Forkes