PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 11 (UPI) — A Portland man was bitten by a shark while swimming off the coast of Oregon Monday, resulting in serious injuries, according to police.
Joseph Tanner was surfing near Indian Beach at Ecola State Park when he was bitten by a shark on the upper thigh and lower leg, report police who stabilized him before he was airlifted to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.
Tanner was brought back to shore and carried up the beach to the parking lot by other surfers after the unprovoked attack, where he was stabilized by emergency responders and taken to the emergency room.
While damage to his leg was extensive, Tanner’s friends say there was no major artery damage and he will require surgery but is expected not to lose his leg to the injury.
Although shark attacks are rare, they often happen on the West Coast of the U.S. between August and October, according to Ralph Collier, director of the Global Shark Attack File.
“Even with these increases in both populations — humans and sharks — we still have very few of these when you look at the overall picture,” Collier said.
Collier said there are 28 previous shark attacks listed in the Global Shark Attack File database, 27 of which were unprovoked and involved great white sharks. The most recent attack in Oregon was in November 2013.