Man Feared Dead After Shark Attack Near California Beach, Witnesses Report Seeing 'Large Pool of Blood'

Lifeguard shark attack

A swimmer remains missing following reports of a shark attack off a popular California beach, U.S. Coast Guard officials told news outlets.

A shark attacked a man swimming off Point Reyes National Seashore at 10:40 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, and pulled him under, officials told KNTV.

Witnesses Reported Seeing 'A Large Pool of Blood'

Other swimmers at Wildcat Beach at the southern edge of Point Reyes reported seeing "a large pool of blood in the water," KPIX reported. Three men were swimming 25 to 50 yards offshore at the time. The missing swimmer was identified as a 52-year-old male. Search and rescue crews tried to search for the missing swimmer over the weekend via land, water and air, officials said.

"This is not your typical attack that we've heard of. It does create some complications when you can't find someone in the water," Ben Ghisletta, senior fire captain with the Marin County Fire Department, told KGO.

US Coast Guard Suspends Search

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday suspended its search for the swimmer. "The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search in the frigid waters this morning, but a ground search is being conducted by first responders from the NPS, the Marin County Sheriff's Office and the Marin County Fire Department, and the Stinson Beach Fire Department," according to an advisory from the National Park Service.

Shark Attacks are Extremely Rare, According to Stats

Shark attacks are "extremely rare," according to John Carlson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "You have a better chance of getting in a car accident and being injured on your way to the beach than you do actually when you get to the beach and going swimming," he said in a video posted to NOAA's website.

In 2022, the Florida Museum of Natural History's International Shark Attack File investigated 108 shark-human interactions worldwide. Of those interactions, 57 were unprovoked shark bites, and there were nine "shark-related fatalities."