Shark ‘aggressively bumps’ man south of Moonlight Beach in Encinitas; minor injuries reported

Encinitas lifeguards put up advisory signs south of Moonlight Beach after a body boarder reported an encounter with a shark according to officials on April 29, 2020. Officials don't believe the person was bit, and will have the advisory up for 24 hours.
(K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

A young man reported being attacked by a shark Wednesday evening, April 29, south of Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, though authorities believe the animal “aggressively bumped” him rather than bit him.

It happened around 5:45 p.m. in the water off C Street and Moonlight Lane, according to Encinitas lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles and sheriff’s Lt. Tim Matzkiw. It prompted authorities to post advisory signs a mile north and south of the area warning surfers and swimmers for the next 24 hours about the reported encounter.

The victim, described only as a young man who was surfing or bodyboarding, was taken by medics to Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas with a cut on his foot, Giles said.

The young man reported that a “large” shark circled him, and he possibly kicked the animal, Giles said.

“I would call it more of a bump, or an aggressive act,” Giles said. “It didn’t bite.”

It was not immediately clear what type of shark reportedly attacked the man, Giles said.

Jack Shannon lives nearby and said he was checking the surf from above the beach, near a lookout at the end of A Street, when he heard a lifeguard come over the loud speaker to announce someone had been bitten. Lifeguards began ordering surfers out of the water.

Encinitas had just reopened Moonlight Beach for walkers, runners, swimmers and surfers on Monday morning, April 27. The beach, along with most others across the county, had been closed since March 23 as part of the county’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Shannon said the beach scene “has been chaotic” since it reopened Monday morning, April 27, with visitors arriving early and staying until well past sundown to observe the bioluminescent light that’s visible at night.

Moonlight Beach is about 1.5 miles south of where Keane Webre-Hayes, then 13 years old, was attacked and critically injured by a great white shark in September 2018.

— Alex Riggins is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune

— Staff writer Teri Figueroa contributed to this report. This is a breaking news story that will be updated as more information becomes available.