Swimmer's close shave with great white shark

A man who was attacked by a great white shark off a Southern California beach is describing how quickly a routine swim turned into a bloody nightmare.

Steven Robles was in the water off Manhattan Beach near Los Angeles when the 7-foot (2.1-metre)-long juvenile shark suddenly appeared on Saturday morning.

He told KABC-TV that the shark looked at him and "locked into my chest."

Robles was taken to shore and by Sunday morning had been released from the hospital.

Witnesses said the shark had been hooked by a fisherman on a nearby pier and was thrashing in the water for more than 30 minutes before biting Robles about 300 yards (275 meters) off shore.

Eric Martin told KABC-TV that the shark's mouth opened and closed as if it was trying to shake the hook.

"We think the swimmer just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time," Martin said.

The fisherman cut the line, and a surfer put Robles on his board, taking him ashore with the help of Los Angeles County lifeguards.


The shark remained in the area for the next 20 minutes and then disappeared into the murky water, Flores said. The beaches remained open, but a mile-long stretch was temporarily off-limits to swimmers. Police also prohibited fishing from the pier until Tuesday as a precaution.

Shark sightings are on the rise at some Southern California beaches, especially in the waters off Manhattan Beach, which is a popular spot for surfers and paddle boarders.

It's illegal to fish for great white sharks. It wasn't immediately clear whether the department was investigating the accident.

-AP

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