SAN DIEGO -- A diver was attacked by a shark near Children's Pool in La Jolla this week, but he wasn't injured, San Diego Lifeguards said Wednesday.
The attack happened Monday afternoon as three divers were spear fishing, lifeguards said. As the men were swimming back to shore, a shark bit Justin Schlaeflis in the calf, ripping his wet suit but not breaking the skin.
Schlaeflis was bringing a small bass back with him, and the shark may have been trying to bite the fish, San Diego lifeguard Lt. Nick Lerma said.
"From what we know, the shark was going for the fish and not the person." said Lt. Lerma.
The divers tried to scare the shark off, but it swam back toward one of them. He fired his spear gun at the shark, hitting it in the gills, and the shark swam off dragging the spear gun, lifeguards said.
None of the divers was injured in the attack, but they reported it to lifeguards because of the lost spear gun.
The divers said they thought the shark was a seven-foot-long sevengill shark. Sevengill sharks grow to about 10 feet and normally feed on other sharks, rays, fish, seals, and carrion.
"In the last 400 to 500 years. we've only seen about five unprovoked attacks. It's very rare," said Andy Nosal from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Lifeguards said they have recently received more reports than normal of sevengills in local waters.