Surfer Attacked by Shark Near Santa Rosa Island Off Santa Barbara Coast

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A U.S. Coast Guard crew hoists a shark bite victim into a helicopter near Santa Rosa Island on Dec. 21, 2019. (Credit: USCG)

A U.S. Coast Guard crew hoists a shark bite victim into a helicopter near Santa Rosa Island on Dec. 21, 2019. (Credit: USCG)

U.S. Coast Guard members flew a 37-year-old surfer to a hospital by helicopter following a shark attack near Santa Rosa Island, off the coast of Santa Barbara, on Saturday afternoon, officials said.

The man was bitten in a leg by an “unknown shark type” about 3:15 p.m., according to the Ventura County Fire Department and Coast Guard officials.

A good Samaritan aboard a boat notified authorities of the attack and relayed that a tourniquet had been placed on the victim’s leg, the Coast Guard said in a written statement.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived first on scene about an hour later as firefighters responded by boat, officials said. Rescuers rushed the wounded surfer to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

The attack took place on the northwest side of the island, authorities said.

Coast Guard Lt. Benjamin McIntyre-Coble described the rescue as “the best possible outcome to a truly terrifying situation.”

“This individual was fortunate to be with a buddy who was able to communicate their position to the Coast Guard,” he said. “We are all happy that he will be able to be with his family in time for the holidays.”

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