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shark warning Laylan Connelly/The Orange County Register via AP

A woman was attacked by a shark on Sunday April 30th 2017 at approximately 6:30 PM. The location of the attack is an area known by local surfers as “Churches” or “Church” which is located a few miles south of San Clemente and is located in the middle of the San Onofre State Beach area, one of the busiest parks in the entire state with over 2.5M visitors each year. This particular section of beach is popular for surfing and swimming and is located near Trestles Beach and San Onofre’s Camp Pendleton Beach.

The woman has been identified as Leeanne Ericson, a 35-year-old mother of three. She was camping at San Onofre Saturday evening and was apparently wading and swimming in the water when she was viciously attacked by a shark on Sunday. A nearby surfer heard her scream and jump off his board to rescue her, using his rubber surfboard leash as a tourniquet.


The victim’s mother said that the shark tore her right back leg from her glute to her knee and that she is “fighting for her life” at Scripps Memorial Hospital. A GoFundMe page has been set up and has already collected over $20,000 as of 2PM Monday May 1st.

As a result of this attack, all beaches in the area have been closed, but are expected to reopen by Wednesday.

This is not the first attack in this area. According to our California shark attack list, there have been three other shark attacks in the San Onofre Beach area since the year 2000. And on April 10th a Surfline camera caught a shark breaching at Lower Trestles, which is just north of where this attack occurred.