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Surfer bitten by shark in latest attack off Calif.

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Shark attack

AP photo

EUREKA, Calif. (AP) – Hospital officials were expected to release more information Wednesday after a 25-year-old surfer was apparently bitten by a shark off the coast of Eureka, the latest in a string of shark attacks in California this year.

Other surfers drove him from the beach to a highway where he was transferred to an ambulance, the Eureka Times-Standard reported. The injured surfer underwent surgery and was listed in fair condition Tuesday.

The Humboldt County sheriff’s office said the man had a 14-inch bite wound and other injuries. He told a deputy he had been attacked by a shark.

Jason Gabriel said he had just finished surfing when he saw several people helping the man out of the water. He had at least four gashes between his ribs and hips, Gabriel said.

“It punctured all the way through. There were guts and meat hanging,” he said, adding that the victim appeared to be in shock. “He was going, ‘Oh my God, oh my God.”‘

The attack happened at a popular surfing spot called the North Jetty.  Another surfer, David Hargrave, said he heard the bitten man call for help and saw him wade back to shore while bleeding heavily.

The injured man’s name has not been released. Leslie Broomall, a spokeswoman at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, said she could not release any more information but that he would speak with reporters Wednesday.

A 39-year-old surfer died in another shark attack off Santa Barbara County last week. A shark expert determined his injuries likely were inflicted by a 15- to 16-foot great white shark.

Two kayakers – one in Santa Cruz County in July and the other in San Luis Obispo County in May – reported that sharks bit their boats.

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