The Coast News Group
A portion of the beach in Del Mar is closed until June 4 after a shark bit a swimmer on Sunday morning. File photo 
Part of the beach in Del Mar is closed until June 4 after a shark bit a swimmer Sunday morning. Courtesy photo 
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Shark bites swimmer in Del Mar

DEL MAR — A 46-year-old man is in the hospital after being bitten by a shark while swimming Sunday morning off the Del Mar coast.

City officials said the man was swimming with a group of other individuals at approximately 9 a.m. on Sunday, roughly 100 yards offshore from the Beach Safety Center at 17th Street, when a shark bit his torso, left arm and hand.

The victim was transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. Medical personnel determined his injuries were severe but not life-threatening.

According to the city, the man was in a group of swimmers who regularly train in Del Mar.

In response to the incident, Del Mar’s beaches are closed to surfers and swimmers from 6th Street to North Beach until 9 a.m. on June 4.

The Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach, which monitors sharks and shark activity along the Southern California coastline, will be conducting first-of-its-kind research to find out more about Sunday’s shark bite.

Shark Lab Director Dr. Chris Lowe said the lab will not only test DNA from the bite wound to determine whether it was from a white shark — which it is expected to be, due to aggregations in the area — but also examine water samples from the area to see if the same DNA from the bite has been present over time.

“We know there’s sharks there all the time. The question is, is the shark that bit the person a shark that’s there all the time, or one that’s just passing through?” Lowe said. “If this works, then that’s something we would focus on in the future.” 

While sharks are common in the area, attacks are extremely rare. The last shark bite reported in Del Mar occurred in November of 2022, also near 17th Street when a female swimmer experienced a non-life-threatening bite on the thigh by a juvenile white shark.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated to include information from Dr. Chris Lowe.

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