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Shark attacks swimmer near Manhattan Beach Pier

SwimmingLos Angeles County Fire Department
Shark attacks swimmer in Manhattan Beach
Victim stable after shark attack near Manhattan Beach Pier

A seven-foot shark attacked a swimmer near the Manhattan Beach Pier on Saturday morning, witnesses and police said.

The shark bit the swimmer, who was training near the pier, at about 9:30 a.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Twitter page.

The shark was "hooked" by a fisherman roughly 40 minutes before the attack, fire officials said in a tweet.

The victim was in stable condition, officials tweeted.

Witness Aram Ozen said he was surfing near the pier when a man swimming with a group was attacked about 50 or 60 feet from shore.

At first, Ozen said, people thought the victim was having trouble swimming and then he suddenly heard a couple of people screaming, “White, white!” referring to a great white shark.

“It was a scary scream,” Ozen said. “It was kind of freaky. There was a lot people screaming back to shore.”

Manhattan Beach Police Lt. Ryan Small said local police and firefighters aided Los Angeles County lifeguards with an "ocean rescue" Saturday morning and said one man was taken to a hospital.

Small would not confirm that the man was bitten by a shark or comment on the extent of his injuries. A representative for the L.A. County Fire Department, which oversees the lifeguard program, was not immediately available for further comment.

Ozen said other surfers started paddling out to help the victim back to shore as officials cleared everyone out of the water.

“I saw blood on his right rib,” he said. “He was a little bit in shock."

The attack follows a series of shark sightings in the area. Last month a great white shark was spotted swimming ominously close to paddleboarders in Manhattan Beach.

A great white shark was also spotted chasing a sea lion along LeadBetter Beach in Santa Barbara, prompting a beach closure.

A shark sighting in Manhattan Beach last year prompted authorities to close El Porto Beach. Lifeguards cleared the ocean after a shark was spotted swimming about 15 feet from a surfer.

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