Peter De Jung recently became the fourth shark attack victim in California this year when he was bitten at Point Reyes. De Jung, who lives in nearby San Rafael, was surfing alone at Limantour beach on Sunday when a juvenile great white between six and eight feet long shot up from below and chomped down on his leg. According to park ranger John Golda, De Jung fought off the shark by hitting it near the eye with his elbow. The peeved shark then swam away, giving De Jung a parting swipe with its tail.

Golda said that De Jung managed to paddle in to shore and called the paramedics from his cell phone on the beach. He was lucky he brought it with him because he was surfing at a spot that was two miles from the parking lot. “(De Jung) called {{{911}}} at 9:30 am and by 10:28 he was in the helicopter on the way to Santa Rosa hospital,” said Golda.

The beach is in an area populated by harbor and elephant seals and there were attacks on surfers at nearby beaches in 1992 and 1996.

While this incident does not indicate an epidemic or cause for alarm, shark problems are on the rise this year. Since July there have been two close calls for surfers, including one last week, in San Luis Obispo and a shark killed an abalone diver in August in Fort Bragg.

According to De Jung’s mother, De Jung was still in the hospital but was in good condition and was scheduled to be released in a few days. – Jamie Tierney