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Surfers at San Onofre State Beach Won't Let Shark Attack Deter Them from Surfing

Many surfers who spoke with NBC 7 said seeing sharks in the water off San Onofre State Beach was not uncommon.

Surfers at a popular San Onofre State Beach spot say this weekend's shark attack will not stop them from surfing at the beach. 

"I’ve seen some sharks breach in the water and some pretty big dorsal fins in the water way out there, but I’m not alarmed by it whatsoever," said Kirt Nixon, an Encinitas surfer at San Onofre State Beach on Sunday.

San Onofre State Beach, from the nuclear plant to San Clemente, is closed until Sunday evening following Saturday's shark attack. Lifeguards will re-evaluate the water then. 

A woman was pulled from the water and airlifted to a nearby hospital after a shark bit her leg. The woman's rescuers said almost all the muscle in her leg was missing by the time they got her to the shore.

But the closure did not stop some surfers from getting into the water in nearby beaches. 

"As a surfer, I'm not going to let it deter me from surfing," said Nixon. "I've been surfing here ever since I was a little kid." 

Many surfers who spoke with NBC 7 said seeing sharks in the water off San Onofre State Beach was not uncommon. 

"On Easter Sunday, there was a sighting of a Great White breaching, as it was gobbling up a seal," said Mike Hurlbot, a resident.

Sharks are always out there, Nixon said. "I'm not too worried about it," he added. 

Kyle Baria, a surfer from San Marcos, said it was crazy to think someone was bit by a shark in a spot he frequented. 

"They’re out there, we know it," Baria said. "And we’d hate to see a friend get bit, we’d all rally to get that person out."

For other local residents, the sight of dolphins Sunday morning were an added reassurance. 

"There was a dolphin that rolled through the lineup a while ago and that always is reassuring," said Lee Watson, a San Clemente resident. "We like it when dolphins show up, the sharks don’t seem to like them as much. It makes you feel a little safer."

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