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Warnings posted at Monterey beaches after shark attacks surfer

October 31, 2011 | 12:50 pm

Shark.attackA surfer who was attacked by a shark as he paddled into the waves off a Monterey-area beach was recovering Monday from bites to his neck and arm.

Eric Tarantino was attacked around 7 a.m. Saturday, just minutes after he and a friend waded into the water at Marina State Beach, the Monterey Herald reported.

The shark bit Tarantino, 27, on the right side of his body, leaving wounds to his neck, shoulder, wrist and forearm. The shark also snapped a 19-inch chunk from Tarantino’s red surfboard, the paper reported.

One of Tarantino's friends, Brandon McKibben, helped him out of the water, and eight to 10 fellow surfers used beach towels to apply a tourniquet to his arm to stanch the bleeding from his neck.

McKibben told the Herald he was paddling over a wave, just feet from Tarantino, when the attack occurred.

"I went up over the top of the wave and as I was coming down I could hear him yelling 'Shark! Shark!' " McKibben said. He said when he glanced around he noticed that Tarantino’s arm was bleeding profusely.

“The water all around him was red with blood," the newspaper reported.

Officials said signs will be posted along area beaches to alert visitors of the potential danger from sharks and urging beachgoers to stay out of the water for the next week.

The attack occurred near the spot where another surfer was bitten by a shark in 2007. In the attack, the surfer required 500 stitches and 200 staples to close his wounds.


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Photo: California State Park lifeguard Kevin Brady holds a surfboard bearing the scars from a shark attack at Marina State Beach. Credit: David Royal / Monterey County Herald