A California beach was shut down after a surfer survived this scary situation

Jun 3, 2024

California is home to some of the best surfing in the world.

But one surfer found something unexpected lurking beneath the waves. 

And a California beach was shut down after a surfer survived this scary situation.

California beach shut down after surfer survives barely escapes shark 

A surfer in Orange County, California was lucky to survive an encounter with a juvenile shark that bit his surfboard.

26-year-old Evan Garcia was heading out to catch some waves at T-Street Beach in San Clemente when the worst nightmare for a surfer happened to him.

A shark he estimated to be four to six feet knocked him off his board into the water.

“I feel like that’s about as lucky as you possibly can be, as someone who surfs a lot and spends a lot of time in the water,” Garcia told Fox 11. 

“When that thing hit me from below, I knew right away that it was a shark,” Garcia added. “You always know that’s a possibility, but there’s people out there who have been seriously injured by sharks and I’m so lucky that it only got my board.”

When he was in the water, he saw the shark, which had taken a bite of his trusty surfboard.

Garcia credited the surfboard with saving his life.

“My mom bought me that board three years ago and I’ve surfed with that board in Mexico,” Garcia recalled. “I’ve surfed with that board all up and down the coast. But he made that board strong and that board saved my life.”

The type of shark hasn’t been revealed but juvenile Great White sharks reside in the Pacific Ocean off of California.

Southern California beach temporarily shut down after shark attack 

Garcia swam back to shore with his surfboard as quickly as he could.

He ran to the first lifeguard he could find to show them the bite marks on his surfboard.

People were ordered to leave the water in the two-mile stretch of beach that’s roughly 60 miles south of Los Angeles.

San Clemente city officials ordered the beach to be temporarily shut down “due to confirmed aggressive shark behavior.”

“Beaches will remain open, but water access will remain closed until 8 p.m. tonight, pending no additional shark sightings,” the city stated.

The shutdown came during the busy Memorial Day weekend holiday when the beaches of southern California are usually flooded with people.

“A sighting of a shark 10 feet (3 meters) or longer calls for a closure, usually for several hours, while any kind of aggressive behavior automatically prompts a 24-hour shutdown, pending no additional shark sightings,” the Associated Press reported.

Kylie Andino and her six-year-old son were disappointed by the beach shutdown on Memorial Day weekend but they planned to make the best of it.

“It’s Memorial Day weekend, we’ll live it up and have fun with the kids regardless and enjoy each other’s company,” Andino said.

Shark attacks are extremely rare but walking away from an encounter with one with just a bite on a surfboard is a stroke of good luck.

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