USCG Rescues Shark Bite Victim off Santa Rosa Island

Image courtesy USCG Los Angeles

Published Dec 23, 2019 6:54 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a man after he was bitten by a shark northwest of Santa Rosa Island, California, 25 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara. 

At about 1515 hours Saturday afternoon, a good Samaritan aboard the boat Jean Marie called Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles Long Beach watchstanders and told them that a surfer had been bitten by a shark near Santa Rosa Island. The good Samaritan had put a tourniquet on the victim's leg to slow blood loss. 

Watchstanders dispatched a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco deployed an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor boat crew with an embarked Ventura County paramedic to the scene. 

About one hour later the helicopter crew arrived on scene, hoisted the man aboard and carried him to the Santa Barbara Airport where emergency medical technicians were waiting. The patient is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery. 

Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station San Francisco FOB Mugu medevacs shark bite victim to saftey and transports him to Santa Barbara Airport where EMTs awaited. pic.twitter.com/zyDewiQWpU

— USCG Los Angeles (@USCGLosAngeles) December 22, 2019

"Santa Rosa Island is remote especially out there on the northwest side where he was surfing," Petty Officer Mark Barney told CNN. "This could have gone in a different direction, but thankfully the good Samaritan was out there. They applied the tourniquet, which is crucial."

"This was the best possible outcome to a truly terrifying situation,” said Lt. Benjamin McIntyre-Coble, the Coast Guard Sector-Los Angeles Long Beach command duty officer. “This individual was fortunate to be with a buddy who was able to communicate their position to the Coast Guard. We are all happy that he will be able to be with his family in time for the holidays.”