Marines Mull Continued Shutdown of Beach Following Shark Attack

Competitors of the 6th annual 2013 USAA Commanding General's Surf Competition sit and wait to take their position in the waves of the San Onofre Beach, Camp Pendleton, June 11, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/ Cpl. Michael Iams)
Competitors of the 6th annual 2013 USAA Commanding General's Surf Competition sit and wait to take their position in the waves of the San Onofre Beach, Camp Pendleton, June 11, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/ Cpl. Michael Iams)

In the wake of a Saturday evening shark attack off Camp Pendleton's San Onofre Beach, Marine commanders continue to mull barring visitors from the popular seashore.

Camp Pendleton commanders posted guards on Sunday to enforce the ban, with lifeguards from Marine Corps Community Services on the scene as well.

Marine Corps spokeswoman Lt. Abigail Peterson said commanders would use the official Twitter account on Sunday evening to announce a decision on whether "to keep the beach closed or reopen."

The unnamed civilian victim was attacked shortly before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, according Marine spokeswoman Sgt. Asia Sorenson.

Citing health privacy laws, both Scripps and Marine officials have disclosed few details about the incident, except to note that the injuries were caused by a shark bite.

The Orange County Register quoted a state park aide who said that the victim was a female who was wading in the water near a surf spot called "Church" off of Camp Pendleton campgrounds. The aide, Travis Lara, said the woman was bitten "on her glute and down her thigh."

A report by NBC 7 San Diego quoted a witness, Hunter Thompson, who helped bring the woman to shore on a surfboard, saying she was bitten from her hip to her leg.

The beach also is an important training area for Marines and military units from strategic partners.

In 2015, Mexican Naval Infantry Forces trained alongside the Marines at the beach, part of a larger Exercise Dawn Blitz that annually seeks to strengthen ties with allies such as Japan and New Zealand.

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