Sophia Raab was brutally attacked by a shark off California
Sophia Raab was brutally attacked by a shark off California

"I just began screaming bloody murder."

A FEMALE surfer has been savaged by a shark in California as it's revealed the number of great whites spotted prowling the state's Pacific coast is on the rise.

Sophia Raab was horrifically 'mauled' while surfing off Sunset Boulevard in what surgeons are convinced was a vicious shark attack.

After falling off her board, Sophia told how she suddenly felt a sharp, searing pain.

When she got a look at what happened, she was shocked. "I was standing up looking down at my leg and it was peeled open. I could see the inside of my leg," she told KTLA.

"It was the goriest sight I've seen in my entire life. "I have no idea how it happened."

"There is a good chance that Sophia was hit by a small shark that was hunting in the shallow waters off Sunset Beach," said Dr Bert Mandelbaum.

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However despite her ordeal, Sophia - who has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for her medical bills- has vowed to take to the waters again.

Sophia Raab was brutally attacked by a shark
Sophia Raab was brutally attacked by a shark

"Surfing is the thing that makes me feel alive. And on Wednesday, that was almost taken away from me," she said.

"I'm determined to get back in the water….won't be letting a baby shark stop me from doing what I love!"

Juts two days earlier single mum Leanne Ericson was shockingly attacked in knee-deep water north of San Diego.

She suffered significant injuries to her right hip and upper leg along with significant blood loss.

She remains in critical condition, however doctors say she is doing well and they hope she will walk again.

"It was a large wound," said her surgeon Dr Gail Tominaga.

The doc said Ericson most likely survived because of quick action from her rescuers on the beach.

"That was crucial because they were able to put a big dressing on and a partial tourniquet to help decrease the bleeding," she said.

There have been an increasing number of shark sightings in southern California, including one breaching near surfers earlier this week.

Most of them are young great whites, some six feet long and just a year old, according to marine biologist Chris Lowe.

"I attribute a lot of that to better conservation, we protected white sharks 20 years ago in California, their food source has come back, and in many ways, our coastal oceans are getting healthier," Lowe says.

Sophia Raab was brutally attacked by a shark
Sophia Raab was brutally attacked by a shark

 

But frequent shark sightings are causing fear.

Marine biologists say the fear generated from these incidents is a reminder that even with crowded beaches in southern California, what lurks beyond the shoreline is mostly unknown.

"It is wild. There is wild life there and certainly we have to respect that," Bader says.

But experts insist the recent attacks are not intentional.

Marine biologist Dave Bader of the Aquarium of the Pacific said that in his experience, a shark is never intentionally going after a person.

"We know what great white sharks like to eat and especially as juveniles, we know they like to eat small fish," he said.

"Nothing on you looks like a small fish."

Yesterday we reported how an idiotic Aussie lost a  chunk out of his leg after he tried to lasso a shark  like a cowboy.

News Corp Australia


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