‘Lucky to be Alive’: Surfer Details Vicious Shark Attack on Northern California Coast

Jared Trainor was excited for another fun day surfing on the Northern California coast on Sunday. The Fortuna man was on his way to Centerville Beach in Humboldt County, which the 31-year-old technician heard was a good place for surfers. Even with his excitement, he recalls having a thought during the drive to the beach – Sharktober.

With an increase in wildlife in the ocean during October, the month has been known to see an uptick in shark activity. Trainor even noticed quite a few seals on the beach that day, never a good sign for the prospect of sharks in the water. With over a decade of surfing experience on the California coast, he weighed the risks and decided to enter the water anyways. What transpired shortly after almost killed him.

Trainor experienced one of the rarest incidents in the water that day – a vicious shark attack. The following sequence was explained by Trainor to the East Bay Times.

After he paddled through the first set of waves, Trainor sat and waited with his legs dangling in the water. Next thing he knew, a shark hit his surfboard with force, pushing him into the water for what had to have been the scariest moment of his life. He somehow landed directly back on his board while underwater, but that didn’t stop the shark.

As he laid “coffin style” on the board, the shark latched its lower jaw on his board and upper jaw on his leg and Trainor began fighting for his life. He kicked the shark in the head multiple times with his left leg until it released. He was confused and full of adrenaline as he quickly swam back to the shore, wondering if it was a seal that just attacked him. His injuries told a different story.

Another surfer met him at the beach where they determined what happened, indicated by a vicious 19-inch gash on Trainor’s thigh. After he was transported out in an ambulance, doctors would have to staple his thigh back together and perform surgery on his damaged MCL.

His injuries were documented on social media (warning: they are graphic):

Despite the incident, Trainor still plans to continue his passion for surfing. In fact, he still wants to pass that passion on to his 5-year-old son. In the meantime, he continues to heal from his injuries. His family has created a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses:

“My brother, Jared Trainor was bit by a Great White shark yesterday while surfing at a local beach by himself,” wrote Trainor’s sister Haley Martino in the GoFundMe. “He suffered several wounds to the thigh but is lucky to be alive.”

The beaches of Northern California are known are known to attract many visitors, including swimmers and surfers, but adventure at your own risk. It’s estimated that nearly 40 percent of all great white shark attacks in the United States happen in this region, and 11 percent of total shark attacks in the world.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


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