An American triathlete was bitten by a shark, believed to be a great white while swimming just off the coast of Corona del Mar State Beach in California, according to the LA Times
52 year old Marie Korcsmaros was swimming along the buoys about 75 meters offshore as part of her training for an Ironman competition scheduled for July in Canada, when she was attacked at about 4:15 p.m. Sunday, according to officials from Orange County Global Medical Center, where Korcsmaros is recovering from surgery.
Officials are not certain about the species of shark that bit Korcsmaros.
However, Chris Lowe, head of the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach, said that based on the size of her wounds it was likely a great white measuring bout 3 meters in length.
The open water along the buoys off Corona del Mar is a popular spot for long-distance swimmers to train for triathlons and other events because it is relatively calm, said Newport Beach Chief Lifeguard Rob Williams.
Lifeguard Andy Matsuyama and Capt. Mike Ure were patrolling on a boat about 30 yards from Korcsmaros when they noticed an unusual splash of white water and saw the woman jolted to the side. They didn’t see a shark, Williams said.
Korcsmaros began treading water, yelled and shot her hand in the air to signal for help. In less than a minute, lifeguards pulled the bleeding woman, who was wearing a wetsuit, onto the boat and applied a tourniquet to her arm.
The lifeguards sped to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol in Newport Harbor, where paramedics were waiting.
“It was very fortunate we had a boat patrolling in the area,” Williams said.
Korcsmaros had multiple teeth marks on her right side extending from her shoulder area in a semicircular pattern to her lower pelvis.
She also had lacerations on her right arm, an open chest wound and multiple rib fractures and had lost about a liter of blood, doctors said.