A woman who was surfing in Pacific Palisades this week suffered an injury consistent with a shark bite, her doctor told KTLA Friday.
Sophia Raab, 18, was paddling back to shore along Pacific Coast Highway and Sunset Boulevard about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday when she fell off board.
When Raab got back on her surf board, she described being in excruciating pain. She looked down at her leg and found a chunk of her thigh missing.
“I was standing up looking down at my leg and it was peeled open. I could see the inside of my leg,” she told KTLA. “It was the goriest sight I’ve seen in my entire life.”
“I have no idea how it happened,” she added.
With the help of other beachgoers, Raab managed to get back along PCH and into an ambulance. She was taken to a hospital, where she underwent surgery.
Raab suffered a laceration that was described as being 10 inches by 10 inches and 4 inches deep. Her orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, said the injury is consistent with a shark bite.
“There is a good chance that Sophia was hit by a small shark that was hunting in the shallow waters off Sunset Beach,” the surgeon told KTLA. He added that he needs to further analyze photos of the injury to determine if it was indeed from a shark bite.
Eric Howell, an ocean lifeguard captain with Los Angeles County told KTLA that there was no shark activity in the area, but lifeguards are “consulting with their shark expert about the incident.”
Raab was released from the hospital Friday evening and said she hopes to recover and “get back in the water,” because surfing is a part of her life. She said she considered herself “lucky” after the incident.
A mother of three children who was attacked by a shark at San Onofre State Beach last weekend is recovering at a hospital, officials said Friday.
KTLA’s Jennifer Thang and Sara Fenton contributed to this story.