Even as the words “shark attack” pierced the calm air at the remote beach, it took a moment for Thomas Williams to realize what was happening.
But then he saw the woman being carried out of the water, then the blood. And in that split second, Williams’ training kicked in.
Williams, a 29-year-old from San Clemente who recently passed his EMT training test, and a handful of others jumped into action when a woman was attacked by a shark at San Onofre State Beach Saturday evening.
“It was definitely to the point, her hamstring was gone,” said Williams a few hours after the attack late Saturday. “If she didn’t receive immediate care, it was life-threatening.”
“All of the back of her leg was kind of missing.”
The shark attack happened at 6:24 p.m. and the victim was airlifted from San Onofre by Mercy Air-5 to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, according to Camp Pendleton spokesperson Sgt. Asia Sorenson.
The extent of the victim’s injuries is unknown, and San Onofre beach remains closed until 4: 30 a.m. Monday.
On Sunday morning, a sign at the kiosk entering San Onofre surf beach warned of the ocean closure, and a ranger said the area from south of trails to T-street was closed for the day, though many surfers were still out in the water at nearby Lower Trestles, one of the area’s best surf spots, just north of where the attack occurred.
In the area near the shark attack incident, military guards were stopping people from entering, only allowing people in…