Calif. shark attack victim seen smiling in photo released by hospital

Calif. shark attack victim seen smiling in photo released by hospital

The 52-year-old southern California woman who was attacked by a shark off the coast of Newport Beach, California, over Memorial Day Weekend is recovery.

Maria Korcsmaros was training for half-triathlon at Corona del Mar State beach in Newport, California, on May 29 when a shark attacked her. She suffered a bite wound that extended from her upper torso to her pelvis. She also suffered lung lesions, fractured ribs and damage to muscles and skin of her upper arm and abdomen.

The mother of three was rushed to Orange County Global Medical Center, where doctors said the size of the bite suggests that the shark was more than 10 feet in length. Chris Lowe, the director of the Shark Lab at CSU Long Beach, said the shark was most likely a great white.

Korcsmaros was swimming roughly 1.5 miles off of the coast when the shark attacked her. Doctors said the woman’s strong fitness level saved her life.

Dr. Philip Rotter, who treated the woman at the hospital, said, “She had significant open wounds…those are wounds would have bled a lot, and she was able to tread water and hold her own until help arrived. That’s pretty remarkable.”

The hospital recently released Korcsmaros’ photo, in which she can be seen smiling in her bed.

A record-breaking number of 98 shark attacks occurred in the U.S. last year; and the international Shark Attack File at the University of Florida has warned that this year could bring a new record as shark populations have recovered from the historic lows seen in the 1990s.