Surfer survived a terrifying moment that shut down a California beach

Photo by Fabian Wiktor from Pexels

California is world-famous for its beaches to surf.

But surfing is not for the faint of heart.

And a surfer survived a terrifying moment that shut down a California beach.

Shark attack

Orange County, California, is home to prime surfing real estate.

But surfers have to be wary of sharks.

And a surfer was fortunate to survive an encounter with a juvenile shark that bit his surfboard.

Evan Garcia, a 26-year-old surfer, 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 long knocked him off his board into the water.

Garcia told Fox 11, “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.”

He added, “When that thing hit me from below, I knew right away that it was a shark. . .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.”

Garcia saw the shark in the water after it had taken a bite out of his surfboard.

Garcia told the media that he 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 said. “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 has not yet been revealed, but juvenile great white sharks reside in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

Beach shutdown

Garcia swam back to shore with his surfboard in tow as quickly as possible.

He ran to the first lifeguard he could find and showed him the bite marks on his surfboard.

In light of the shark attack, people were ordered to leave the water in the two-mile stretch of beach that’s roughly 60 miles south of Los Angeles.

In a scene straight out of Jaws, San Clemente city officials ordered the beach to be temporarily shut down “due to confirmed aggressive shark behavior.”

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

The shutdown came during the busy Memorial Day weekend holiday, when the beaches of southern California are often flooded with beachgoers.

The Associated Press reported, “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.”

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

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

Shark attacks are exceedingly rare, but that does not provide any solace to the one person who encounters one.

Garcia has the surfboard to prove it.

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.