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Shark attacks swimmer in Del Mar, beaches closed – NBC 7 San Diego


Shark attacks swimmer in Del Mar, beaches closed – NBC 7 San Diego

A 46-year-old man was sent to the hospital after being bitten by a shark in Del Mar around 9 a.m. on Sunday, prompting Del Mar lifeguards to close beaches for swimming and surfing in the area.

The incident happened about 100 yards offshore from the Beach Safety Center at 17th Street, according to the City of Del Mar.

The victim was bitten in his torso, left arm and hand, which are significant injuries, but are non-life-threatening, according to city officials. An ambulance transported him to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

He was swimming in a group of about a dozen ocean swimmers who regularly meet to train in Del Mar.

Lifeguards have posted signs and closed Del Mar beaches for surfing and swimming for one mile in both directions from the location of the incident — which is from about 6th Street to North Beach — and have notified neighboring jurisdictions, as in accordance with shark attack protocols developed by the California Marine Safety Chiefs Association and the Shark Lab at California State University Long Beach.

The beach closure will remain in effect through 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

NBC 7 spoke with some of the many people gathered on the beach on Sunday.

A shark attack in Del Mar on June 2, 2024 prompted beach closures in the area. (NBC 7 San Diego)
A shark attack in Del Mar on June 2, 2024 prompted beach closures in the area. (NBC 7 San Diego)

“I was shocked, honestly. This is the beach that I go to, I’m a local and this is the restaurant I frequent every Sunday for brunch,” said beachgoer Marina Vassiliades.

Chief Lifeguard for the City of Del Mar had expert help on the scene to guide them with their next steps.

“We actually have the shark lab from Long Beach here now. They’re a resource for us here in the state, specifically Southern California, to receive the latest and greatest information on how to respond to incidents like this,” City of Del Mar Chief Lifeguard John Edelbrock told NBC 7.

“This is the second time in about a year and a half here in Del Mar, so not a good day for ocean lovers,” Edelbrock said.

“If we, as in everyone, paid attention in the last 4+ years between here and Torrey Pines and like Black’s [Beach] area, we have had quite a few juvenile white sharks in the area,” Edelbrock said.

NBC 7 also spoke with Marine Biologist and Assistant Teaching Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego, Dovi Kacev about if locals should be concerned.

“It’s certainly important for everyone to know that shark bites are very rare. We can talk about the statistics and compare them to other things like vending machines falling down on people,” Kacev said.

Kacev gave his tips for encountering a shark:

“Be aware when you’re in that environment. If you see a large fish or a large shark that makes you feel uncomfortable, of course get out of the water and tell the lifeguards and let other people know,” Kacev said.

As local leaders prepare to reopen the beach in a couple days, beachgoer Vassiliades is thinking about when and how she will enjoy the beach in the future.

“A little too close to home, but the water is their home,” Vassiliades said.

“I will still come to the beach,” she concludes.

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