San Diego

Shark Warning at Church Surf Break, Same Spot of Previous Shark Attack

On April 29, a shark attacked Leeanne Ericson at the beach in San Diego's North County as she swam alongside her boyfriend who was surfing.

Camp Pendleton authorities have issued a 48-hour shark warning for the Church surf break near San Onofre State Beach, the same location of a recent shark attack

A trauma surgeon with Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla gives an update on the recovery of Leeanne Ericson, a woman attacked by a shark at San Onofre State Beach last weekend.

The shark was displaying aggressive behavior on Wednesday, officials said.

A surfer in the water reported an aggressive shark swimming toward him. The surfer kicked the shark out of the way, lifeguards said, but the surfer had a full profile view of the shark. 

"The lifeguard was notified by a surfer of this encounter and since safety is a top priority for patrons and personnel, alike, the warning was issued and will continue to be communicated," a Camp Pendleton spokesperson said.

Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, a surfer told NBC 7, he was in the water when a Sheriff's helicopter hovering above announced that they were observing two, nearly 12-foot-long sharks swimming about 100 feet off the coast.

Those heading to the beach are asked to take caution and listen to warnings from local authorities, as well as pay attention to signs posted in the area. 

The Church surf break is where a San Diego woman was critically wounded in a recent shark attack on April 29. The shark attack took place at San Onofre State Beach, located off Interstate 5 at Basilone Road, about 3 miles south of San Clemente, California, and 58 miles north of downtown San Diego. 

The doctors treating Leeanne Ericson, a woman attacked by a shark at San Onofre State Beach last weekend, are expected to give updates on her condition and recovery on Friday. NBC 7’s Gaby Rodriguez reports.

According to authorities, Ericson was camping with her boyfriend when the couple decided to go in the water on the evening of April 29. Ericson swam while her boyfriend surfed next to her at a well-known spot at the beach.

The victim’s mother, Christine McKnerney-Leidle, said the couple saw a seal in the water and Ericson’s boyfriend turned to swim out to a wave. Just then, Ericson disappeared from the water’s surface.

Leeanne Ericson was in a medically induced coma Sunday night at Scripps Memorial Hospital, her mother Christine McKnerney Leidle said.  She and Ericson’s step-father spoke with NBC 7 about the moments after their daughter survived a shark attack on San Onofre State Beach.

The woman was attacked by a shark approximately 10 feet in length who ripped through the back of Ericson’s leg, tearing out all the muscle from her knee to her hip. The shark just missed the victim’s major arteries, McKnerney-Leidle said on Facebook.


As Ericson was dragged into the water, her lungs filled with foam and debris. She was airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla just before 6:30 p.m.

Ericson survived the shark attack, but her road to a full recovery will be painful and lengthy.

Doctors are now starting the process of reconstructing the victim’s leg.

Last year, there were an estimated 59 shark attacks across the U.S., according to data collected by scientists at the University of Florida.

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