California Shark Attack Victim Shaken 'Like a Dog' Is Lucky To Be Alive

A California woman who was bitten and shaken by a shark "like a dog" is lucky to be alive.

Avid swimmer Lyn Jutronich, 50, had been taking a routine swim at Del Mar Beach, San Diego on November 4 when the attack occurred.

Jutronich told ABC 10News that she had been resting in the water when suddenly she felt something huge slam between her legs. She immediately knew it was a shark.

"It pushed me, it hurt and it pushed me up and out of the water," Jutronich told the news outlet. "I saw it clamp on my leg so I don't know if I saw it bite my leg or if I saw it after it bit my leg but I definitely saw the mouth."

As the shark clamped down on her right leg, it shook the limb once "like a dog" before letting her go.

Great white shark mouth open
A stock photo shows a great white shark leaping out the water. The species involved in the California attack has not been confirmed but it may have been a juvenile great white. Peter_Nile/Getty

The species of shark has not yet been confirmed by scientists, but it may have been a juvenile great white shark, The Guardian reported.

Unprovoked shark attacks are extremely rare. According to the Florida Museum's International Shark Attack File, San Diego has seen 20 unprovoked shark attacks since 1926. It is also the region of California with the most unprovoked attacks.

Jutronich, who used to swim competitively, told the news outlet that she was not sure she would ever get back in the water following the incident.

"The risk of an unprovoked shark bite is extremely low. You are much more likely to drown at an exposed beach than be bitten by a shark. From the victim's report is not possible to identify the species involved in a bite at this time," Daryl McPhee, an associate professor of environmental science at Bond University told Newsweek.

"From the description of the incident, the victim is lucky not to have sustained more serious injury or worse. The risk of a severed major artery and subsequent blood loss is a major source of fatality from unprovoked shark bite. I would encourage the victim to seek counseling support as the psychological impacts from a bite can result in PTSD [Post-traumatic stress disorder]."

As soon as Jutronich was able to come up for air, she told her swim partner what had happened.

"I've just been bit, I've just been bit, we've gotta get into shore," Jutronich said at the time.

When they made it to shore, lifeguards called emergency services. She was taken to the hospital where she was treated for laceration and puncture wounds to her right leg.

"One of the main theories regarding why sharks bite humans is a case of mistaken identity, where the shark mistakes a human for prey, for example, a seal. Especially given that the woman stated that the shark took a bite and then let go likely once realizing it wasn't the intended target," Brianna Le Busque, scientist specializing in shark behavior told Newsweek. "Certain conditions, such as murky water or large schools of bait fish around, can increase the chance of a shark to mistake a human for prey."

Around 11 species of shark can be found off the coast of California. Great white sharks are most abundant off the central coast, but they can be found all the way through the state, from San Diego to San Francisco.