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. raven

    Yes, Mr Bond.. sometimes I have the same problem. Have you done a breath check ? @ m.s.: its only a matter of time before someone just HAS ta tempt fate.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BOND, JAMES

    Lucky bloak

    October 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jared

    Wow. I've been surfing since i was 10. I would probably quit too if something like that happened to me.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ling Cho

    Not me. Im a brave and hip chineese guy. We are not afraid of sharks and whatnot.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    Hello, Mr. Bond.
    I hope you're doing all right.

    I'm surpirised someone hasn't gone out there already, because they know "surf's up"!

    October 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ben

    Sounds like Philip is having a brain freeze.
    No shock on shark attack. Surfers are swimming in their feeding ground. That's the chance they take for the thrill in hanging ten.

    October 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    It wont be long for some1 who reads the signs & thinks "It wont happen to me!" Then there will be screaming & blood & 1 less limb or a chunk from a thigh or torso, not a surf board! We humans are a curious bunch & it seems alot of the time courage is really just stupidity!!

    October 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    Fiber for the shark.

    October 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. s kel

    Surfs up sharks.

    October 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. H8w8ting

    More than 99% of shark attack victims survive. Apparently we do not taste very good!! I can't really blame the sharks... We are sitting on their dinner plate and look very much like dinner. I would take a bite too!!

    October 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      Shark family sitting down to their human dinner. " I thought you said they taste like chiken. )

      October 21, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat2u

    Judging by where the board was bitten off, it looks like the shark swam downstream and waited for the surfer to come to him with his mouth open.

    October 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Come to papa, lil surfer!

    October 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bobcat2u

    I missed him by that much. ( finger snap )

    October 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John Schwendler

    No such event as a "near-shark attack." It either attacked, or it didn't. In this case it appears to have done so. Just because it took a bit out of a board instead of a human doesn't mean it didn't attack. This reminds me of the flying industry reporting "near-misses." Well, if two planes nearly missed each other, that to me means they ran into each other. Two planes missing each other is good, and should be reported as a "near-crash." Is this difficult?

    October 22, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bud

    I know folks love surfing. I also know surfing is fun. But I don't swim in the ocean. At most I wade. I also don't swim in lakes that could have bull sharks, aligators, crocodiles or such. I'm not that much of an adrenalin junkie. I do hike and camp however. I have done so in bear and cougar country. I carry bear mace and a big gun. I'm much more comfortable with a land animal than a water animal. Humans are completely out of their element in the water. Not much chance of getting away from water creatures.

    October 22, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
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