Surfer Taken To Hospital After Shark Attack

( – A 46-year-old man survived a terrifying shark attack on Sunday while swimming at a popular California beach. The brave swimmer fended off the shark by punching it on the nose, ultimately being rescued by his fellow swimmers, an eyewitness reported.

The incident occurred around 9 a.m. at Del Mar beach, north of San Diego. The man, who is part of a seasoned ocean swimming group, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries to his left hand, arm, and torso. He was promptly taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

Jenna Veal, a member of the same swimming group and an eyewitness to the attack, recounted the harrowing moments. “He punched it in the face, he punched it in the nose,” Veal told NBC’s “TODAY” show. “I do know he had a gash on his hand from a shark’s tooth.”

Following the attack, fellow swimmers quickly assisted the injured man back to shore. An ER doctor who happened to be nearby provided immediate medical aid. “There is a massive all-hands-on-deck movement of support today,” Veal added. The man remained conscious throughout the ordeal and is expected to recover fully.

Photos taken by Veal show the man on a stretcher, surrounded by paramedics and concerned onlookers. “When we saw the guy swim back, it was really shocking,” another eyewitness said.

City of Del Mar Lifeguard Chief Jon Edelbrock noted that one of the swimmers had a personal tourniquet, although it is unclear if it was used during the rescue.

The shark attack led to the closure of nearly the entire beach, leaving local beachgoers stunned. “I have never seen a shark sign or have known of an incident to occur right here,” a beachgoer remarked to “TODAY.”

Despite the frightening event, experts emphasize that the risk of unprovoked shark bites remains extremely low. Swimmers are advised to stay in groups, exercise caution near sandbars and steep drop-offs, and avoid swimming during dark or twilight hours.

The Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File reports that there were only 36 shark attacks in the U.S. last year, with two in California, one of which was fatal.

The beach is expected to remain closed until at least tomorrow.