DEL MAR, Calif. —A juvenile white shark bit a woman in the leg Friday at Del Mar Beach shark, according to Del Mar Lifeguard chief, Jon Elderbrock.
The shark attack happened shortly after 10 a.m. in the Del Mar beach area between 15th and 17th streets.
The woman and a man were swimming in the ocean together when the attack happened and both were able to safely make it back to shore.
Elderbrock said lifeguards treated the woman before being taken to the hospital.
The 50-year-old swimmer and her swim partner made it to shore calmy, where guards treated her leg for a shark bite from a juvenile white shark, Elderbrock confirmed.
Elderbrock added the female swims a lot in the area and based on her swim path, he said she understood their buoys and swimming locations.
“We haven’t had any incidents with these supposed juvenile white sharks, so this is an extraordinary behavior that we witnessed today,” Elderbrock said.
Meredith Rose, a friend of the victim, spoke with the swimmer’s brother who said she was finishing a swim, waiting at the surf line to come in, when the bite happened.
“The shark first bumped her pretty hard, said it felt like a baseball bat from what the brother told me. As she came down from being lifted out of the water a little bit, the shark bit her in the thigh area,” Rose said.
Rose says the victim’s brother told her that the victim is expected to make a full recovery.
“I can’t imagine how shaken up she must be,” Rose said.
Several swimmers, surfers and visitors were shocked to learn about the shark attack.
“We walked right up on the beach and said that is exactly what you were talking about and filming at the moment you walked in. And we were talking about going in whether boogie boarding or swimming,” Jeff Romack, who is visiting from Chicago, told FOX 5.
Romack is visiting from Chicago and also is an open water swimmer. He says they empathize with the situation.
“I don’t have the fear if the water, but the shark’s home, that’s their home, to be respectful is important. More importantly the recovery of anybody that does get injured,” Romack said.
“It was like pretty scary since we’re always here,” said Alex Segal, a high school student.
Fridays are usually surf physical education classes for Segal and Adolfo Kalach. They said after going out into the water dozens of times, the attack is alarming.
“We see dolphins and other animals all the time, but never any sharks,” Kalach said.
Beach closure signs were posted in the area.
According to Elderbrock, the beach will be closed a mile in both directions from the attack, for at least 48 hours.
FOX 5’s Alani Letang contributed to this story.