Shark Attack Prompts Beach Closure on Memorial Day

A surfer’s encounter with a shark led to the temporary closure of a popular beach on Memorial Day. Evan Garcia, the surfer, recounted his experience of being knocked off his board by a shark while surfing at San Clemente Beach during sunset on Sunday. He credits his surfboard, a gift from his mother, for saving his life.

Garcia described the moment the shark hit him from below, instantly recognizing it as a shark attack. He expressed his gratitude for escaping unscathed, acknowledging that others have not been as fortunate. The force of the shark’s impact was enough to throw him into the water.

Upon falling into the water, Garcia found himself face-to-face with the shark, which he estimated to be a juvenile measuring between 4 and 6 feet. The shark left a foot-long bite mark on his 7-foot surfboard, a testament to the close encounter.

Garcia’s surfboard, a gift from his mother three years ago, has accompanied him on surfing trips in Mexico and along the coast. He emphasized the strength of the board, attributing his survival to its durability.

After the incident, Garcia presented his damaged board to a lifeguard. The lifeguard lieutenant then forwarded an image of the board to an expert for confirmation of the shark attack. Following this, San Clemente Beach was closed for 24 hours.

The city of San Clemente announced the closure of all city beaches due to confirmed aggressive shark behavior near T-Street Beach. While the beaches remained open, water access was restricted until 8 p.m., provided there were no additional shark sightings.

Despite the beach closure, beachgoers tried to make the most of their Memorial Day. Some were even spotted wading in the shallow water. Garcia, undeterred by his shark encounter, revealed plans to fly to Hawaii for a surfing vacation.

A study revealed that there have been 201 confirmed shark incidents from 1950 to 2021, with only 15 resulting in fatalities. Another 107 incidents involved non-fatal injuries.