Shark bites surfer near Santa Barbara

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SAN PEDRO, Calif. -- A surfer was bitten by a shark off the coast of Santa Barbara Saturday afternoon, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Authorities said a 37-year-old man was surfing near Santa Rosa Island when a shark bit him on the leg.

The Coast Guard received a call around 3:15 p.m. from someone who was with the surfer following the attack. The person who reported the incident told the Coast Guard a tourniquet was in use on the man's leg to prevent additional blood loss.

About an hour after receiving the call, a Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived and transported the surfer to the Santa Barbara Airport.

An emergency medical team took over at the airport to care for the surfer, who was in stable condition Saturday evening.

"This was the best possible outcome to a truly terrifying situation," Lt. Benjamin McIntyre-Coble with the Coast Guard Sector-Los Angeles Long Beach said. "This individual was fortunate to be with a buddy who was able to communicate their position to the Coast Guard. We are all happy that he will be able to be with his family in time for the holidays."

The type of shark that bit the surfer was unknown.

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