After suspected shark attack, some O.C. beaches remain closed on Memorial Day

After suspected shark attack, some O.C. beaches remain closed on Memorial Day
Warnings are on Corona Del Mar beach after a suspected shark attack. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Lifeguards in Orange County said Monday that some beaches will remain closed after a possible shark attack left a woman with serious injuries.

A woman swimming about 150 yards offshore at Corona del Mar State Beach about 4:15 p.m. Sunday was apparently mauled by a shark or another animal, according to Tara Finnigan, a spokeswoman for the city of Newport Beach.


Newport Beach lifeguards used a boat to pull the injured woman from the water, Finnigan said.

The woman, who had been wearing a wetsuit, appeared to have bite marks on her torso and arms, Finnigan said. The woman was conscious and talking to emergency responders during her rescue.

Beachgoers are seen near the Newport Pier.
Beachgoers are seen near the Newport Pier. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Newport Beach officials on Monday said they did not have an update on the woman's condition.

"Lifeguards have not yet been able to confirm that it was a shark that bit a female swimmer about 150 yards offshore from Corona del Mar State Beach yesterday. However, due to the nature of the incident and the type of injuries the victim sustained, lifeguards are treating it like a shark-bite incident and are continuing to take action to protect beachgoers and ocean users," they said in a statement.

"We are treating this as a shark-bite incident and are asking everyone to please stay out of the water in the closure area," Finnigan said.

Late Monday afternoon, a hospital spokesman confirmed that the wounds were indeed shark bites, she said.

Though people were welcome on the beachfront and pier, lifeguards were asking anybody entering the water to return to the shore. With skies overcast and temperatures chilly Monday, several beachgoers said it was too cold to swim anyway.

The woman was outside the protected swimming area during the incident, Newport Beach Fire Department  Assistant Chief Rob Williams told KTTV-TV. The area is popular among long-distance swimmers and triathletes, he said.

The stretch of the beach from Corona del Mar to the Newport Beach Pier was evacuated while authorities responded. Authorities surveyed the water in a helicopter to find the shark or other animal that injured the woman.

Sharks are occasionally seen off Southern California and less frequently inflict injuries on beachgoers. In October, a hammerhead shark was spotted off Newport Beach, forcing lifeguards to shut down a mile-long stretch of the beach.

In recent weeks, sharks have been spotted off the Orange County coast. A surfer was bumped by a shark in Huntington Beach in March. The next month, a great white shark was recorded leaping out of the water near Sunset Beach.



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The Associated Press contributed to this report.


5:59 p.m.: This story was updated with confirmation that the woman was bitten by a shark and other details.

9:43 a.m.: This story is updated with details about the beach closures.

9:25 a.m. May 30: Updated with new information abut beach closures.

11:04 p.m. May 29: This story was updated with additional details.

This story was originally published at 6:58 p.m.