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Surfer bitten by shark released from hospital

Monday, October 31, 2011
Eric Tarantino was released from the hospital Monday following a shark attack. surfboard

Twenty-seven-year-old Eric Tarantino was on his way home to Monterey Monday afternoon after surgery and trauma care following an attack while surfing Saturday morning at Marina State Beach in Monterey County.

Tarantino made a brief statement to reporters as he left Regional Medical Center of San Jose, thanking rescuers and friends who got him immediate care. He would not answer reporters' questions as a condition of allowing cameras show him being discharged. Tarantino was picked up by his girlfriend, Krista Herr.

"I'm feeling fine" is the only comment he made to a reporter's question.

Tarantino suffered shark bites to his neck, right forearm and thumb around 7 a.m. Saturday, just 10 minutes after getting in the water. A friend, Brandon McKibben, was surfing with him and was able to help him return to shore.

"I looked over at him and at that point and I saw quite a bit of blood come out of his arm and going into the water around him," McKibbon said.

The quick action by fellow surfers to apply a tourniquet to Tarantino's arm was credited by his doctor for saving his life. Dr. Richard Klein, director of trauma services at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, also said that Tarantino will be on antibiotics for a period of time because of the bacteria commonly found in the mouth of sharks.

Klein reiterated earlier comments that the bite to Tarantino's neck was just two centimeters from puncturing his carotid artery. If the carotid artery had been torn open, massive bleeding would have resulted with possibly deadly consequences.

"He's one of the luckiest unlucky people there ever was," trauma surgeon Dr. Bruce Wilbur said.

Tarantino and his fellow surfers were tempting fate just by being in the water at Marina State Beach. This is shark season and and Marina State Beach is in the so-called "red triangle."

"More than half of all the attacks by white sharks  white sharks are the only species that attack human beings here in California -- have occurred within this 100-mile stretch of beach and more than half of the attacks have occurred during August, September and October," said California Academy of Sciences researcher John McCosker.

Tarantino told one hospital administrator that he does plan to surf again.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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sharks, monterey bay, animal, california news
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