A great white shark bit a long-distance swimmer at the Manhattan Beach Pier Saturday morning, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector R. Flores tells KPCC.
The swimmer was bitten at approximately 9:30 a.m., Flores said. A pier fisherman fishing off the pier had latched onto the 7-foot great white shark and had been trying to pull the shark in for 30 to 40 minutes.
The shark was taking the line out to sea and getting agitated, trying to bite the line, Flores said. At that point, a group of long-distance swimmers was swimming by.
"Being that the shark was agitated, it bit," Flores said. "Basically a bite and release of the upper right torso of one of the swimmers."
The wounds were classified as moderate bite wounds, Flores said. The swimmer was treated by lifeguards and transported to a local hospital, both Flores and Manhattan Beach police confirmed. The swimmer was breathing on his own.
Manhattan Beach police would not confirm a shark attack to KPCC, but said that they assisted lifeguards with an ocean rescue in the beach area south of the pier.
Officials say beaches are open, but there is currently a two-mile water restriction. It stretches from 22nd Street in Hermosa Beach to 34th Street in Manhattan Beach.
It's unclear whether the fisherman broke any laws — it's illegal to fish great white sharks in California, but the fisherman didn't catch the shark — but local authorities are turning over information to the California Fish and Game Commission, L.A. County Lifeguard Captain Tracy Lizotte tells the Daily Breeze's Carley Dryden.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the timeline of the attack and the number of times the swimmer was bitten. KPCC regrets the error.