Surfer survives near shark attack on Oregon beach
Bobby Gumm, shown with what's left of his surfboard, is doing OK after an encounter with a great white shark at an Oregon beach.
October 21st, 2011
12:40 PM ET

Surfer survives near shark attack on Oregon beach

An Oregon beach remained open but officials urged caution Friday, a day after a surfer survived a near-shark attack just off the shore.

Bobby Gumm, out surfing with friends about 200 feet from the beach, got the surprise of his life Thursday when he was suddenly launched into the air by an apparent great white shark, witnesses told local media.

“All the sudden I saw a 2-foot fin coming out of the water and it lifted up my friend in the air," Ron Clifford told CNN affiliate KPTV. Clifford was in the water when the incident happened. "I was scared for my life. I've never seen anything like that. It was like witnessing an almost murder," he was quoted as saying.

Chris Havel, spokesman for South Beach State Park where the incident happened, said warning signs were posted immediately after the incident.

“We acted on it right away because it was very obvious and proven, and it came from an experienced and knowledgeable person,” Havel told CNN on Friday.

Also there was the matter of a huge 23-inch chunk of the surf board missing.

Clifford said his friend is fortunate to be alive.

"I saw the water churning up like there was a bunch of piranhas," Clifford told CNN affiliate KHON. "I saw the shark actually lift my friend up with the board and everything, it looked like an old geyser or something just lifted him out of the water about 10 feet," he was quoted as saying.

Havel said that while shark sightings in the area this time of year are not uncommon, close encounters like this are. “This time of year the salmon are coming in and moving into their spawning beds,” he said. “And with them come all the predators that follow - bears, sharks,” he said.

Havel said there have been other close encounters with sharks already this year.

Unlike surfers who sometimes experience close calls but immediately vow to return to the water, Gumm is done, Clifford told KHON. "He's a great short boarder, and he said he didn't want to surf again, and he was very blessed that he could see his kids now," KHON quoted Clifford as saying.

Gumm was born in Hawaii, is married, and has five children, KHON reported.

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Filed under: Animals • Oregon • Sharks • U.S.
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Philip

    I just cant stop thinking about roots in Sadams hole.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Maximus

    What a horrifying experience it must have been, but as a fellow surfer, I hope he gets back out in the water again.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BOND, JAMES

    Good thing he did'nt eat both squares

    October 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BOND, JAMES

    Ha! just kidding, dont get all up in the air about it

    October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. raven

    Wonder how long itll take for someone to ignore the sign, go in the water and act surprised when their leg gets gnawed off .

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BOND, JAMES

    Nothing?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David Schloss

    This is not a NEAR shark attack. It's a shark attack. The shark just didn't manage to eat him.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BOND, JAMES

    When will the government realize they are clueless, it will get worse

    October 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      Who, the sharks?

      October 21, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BOND, JAMES

    Snickers peanut butter squares, still nothing?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff

    This is just a shame. Poor shark was just hungry and following its natural instincts. Maybe itll get the next guy.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BOND, JAMES

    Alright im outta here. ive been here all week, have you even tried the veal?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    @raven:
    Like that guy in South Africa?
    Probably *more* will go in there now, after reading about it!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BOND, JAMES

    What do you call a group of surfer friends who get eaten in a shark attack? chums! bata boom ,ting!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BOND, JAMES

    Hello, is this thing on?

    October 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BOND, JAMES

    Hi banasy,nice to see your alive and well i hope, sorry about the bad joks, its 2 something pm and im bored out of my mnd

    October 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • StartlingRealities

      OBVIOUSLY.........

      November 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
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