PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman surfing off the Oregon coast suffered a bite to her lower leg, and authorities are trying to determine whether a shark is responsible.
The woman surfing at Seaside suffered blood loss and damage to her surfboard, but rescuers said her injuries were not life-threatening.
Spencer Cundari, 42, of Portland, told The Oregonian he was surfing Tuesday morning at Seaside’s “cove” when a white-colored tail rose from the water next to the female surfer.
“It slapped the water three times and then it was gone,” he said. “It was violent.”
He described the woman’s wound as “a good puncture.” Cundari told the newspaper the creature “definitely wasn’t a seal.”
The woman climbed on Cundari’s surfboard and they paddled 400 yards or so to shore.
“She was saying, ‘Help me. Don’t leave me,’” he said.
Other surfers waved down Capt. Joey Daniels of Seaside Fire and Rescue and two other responders just after 9 a.m. Tuesday, KGW-TV reported.
A physician was attempting to stop the bleeding, Daniels said. Climbing down from the rocky shore, Daniels found unusual wounds on the woman’s leg.
“You could tell there were punctures and stuff that weren’t normal,” Daniels said. “She had some lower-leg tears, rips, lacerations. It didn’t look like a lot of blood was lost.”
The surfer was taken by ambulance to a Seaside hospital, where a spokeswoman said the injured woman asked the hospital not to identify her. She later was taken to a Portland hospital.
Seaside Fire and Rescue said in a news release that authorities had not pinpointed what kind of animal bit the woman.
The place where the attack took place is a popular north Oregon Coast surfing spot.
It’s also the place where Douglas Niblack said a shark rose under his longboard in October and he found himself on its back for several seconds.
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