Woman bitten by shark, Del Mar beach closed for at least 48 hours

The 50-year-old woman was bitten on the upper thigh and was taken to a hospital with punctures and lacerations. She is stable and recovering, a lifeguard chief said.


A 50-year-old woman was bitten by a shark in the water off Del Mar Friday morning, Nov. 4, prompting a beach closure of at least 48 hours in the area, city lifeguard officials said.

(File photo)

Lifeguards keeping watch over the beach near 17th street spotted the woman and a companion behaving strangely in the water about 10 a.m., Del Mar Lifeguard Chief Jon Edelbroc said.

“Then they started waving their arms,” Edelbroc said.

Lifeguards and, minutes later, medics assisted the woman, who was bitten on her upper thigh, the lifeguard chief said. She was taken to a hospital with punctures and lacerations and is stable and recovering.

Edelbroc said it’s too early to know what kind of shark bit the woman. Both the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife and Cal State Long Beach’s Shark Lab will inspect the size of the woman’s bite and her damaged wetsuit before making a determination.

“There are some pretty solid metrics about the size and shape of the bite that help them determine the size and type of shark,” Edelbroc said.

The waters off Southern California are a nursery for white sharks, and the animals are seen often in local waters.

“This is their habitat,” Edelbroc said. “Most interactions are peaceful.”

The entirety of Del Mar’s beach will be closed for at least 48 hours as a precaution, the lifeguard chief said. If the closure is not extended, the beach will reopen at 9 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6.