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Surfer hospitalized after Calif. shark attack
By Shelly Meron and Dennis Taylor
MONTEREY, Calif. — Doctors treating a Monterey man who was attacked by a shark Saturday morning say he is in good condition, and was very lucky to survive.
Eric Tarantino, 27, was surfing at Marina State Beach when he was bitten on the neck and arm along the right side of his body by a shark that took a 19-inch chunk from his red surfboard.
Still, doctors say Tarantino will recover fully and may be released Monday.
"The doctor said he's the luckiest unlucky guy he's ever met," said Bev Mikalonis, spokeswoman for Regional Medical Center of San Jose, where Tarantino was flown for care. "Had these bites been one millimeter closer to his jugular vein or carotid artery, it would have been a potentially fatal injury."
The attack happened just after 7 a.m. shortly after Tarantino and a friend, Brandon McKibben of Salinas, entered the water.
"Eric had paddled a little bit deeper than me, onto the peak," McKibben said. "I could hear him yelling 'Shark! Shark!' And at that point we turned around and started paddling in as fast as we could."
McKibben said he looked at Tarantino, 4 feet away, and noticed his arm was bleeding badly. With help, Tarantino got out of the water where fellow surfers used beach towels to apply a tourniquet to his arm and staunch the bleeding from his neck.
Paramedics treated Tarantino at the beach before he was airlifted to San Jose from a local airport.
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