California surfer kicked at shark’s head, survives attack

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. clamp / klæmp / (v.) – to hold or squeeze something tightly

    The lion’s prey was clamped tightly between its sharp teeth.

  2. span / spæn / (v.) – to have a certain length

    The wings of the plane spanned 224 feet and 5 inches.

  3. narrowly / ˈnær oʊ li / (adv.) – by a small amount, number, etc.

    His arrow narrowly missed the target.

  4. recollection / ˌrɛk əˈlɛk ʃən / (n.) – the act of remembering something or the ability to remember something

    To my recollection, you haven’t paid this month’s rent yet.

  5. hazard / ˈhæz ərd / (n.) – something dangerous that can cause harm or accidents

    There’s a road sign that warns about the hazards ahead.


Read the text below.

A 31-year-old surfer in Northern California is recovering after a shark attack that left gruesome bites on his right thigh and leg.

Jared Trainor was unclear whether a seal or shark had knocked him off his board during a Sunday outing to Centerville Beach, he told the Times-Standard newspaper in Humboldt County. The animal had his right leg and his board clamped in its jaws, he said.

Underwater, the experienced surfer grabbed the attacker’s body with one hand and kicked at its head with his free leg until it let him go and swam away, he said. Trainor returned to the beach where another surfer had a cell phone they used to call for help.

“I don’t remember the initial contact,” he told the newspaper. “It kind of happened so quickly.”

Surgeons stapled shut his open wounds, which spanned nearly 19 inches (48 centimeters) or the length of the shark’s mouth.

Photos of a recovering Trainor and his wounded leg are posted at the Instagram account of The Shop, a surf shop in Arcata. His sister, Haley Martino, said in a GoFundMe fundraising post that her brother was bitten by a great white shark.

Humboldt County has had 16 shark attacks since 1960, according to a 2017 news article in The Sacramento Bee.

In 2020, a kayaker narrowly escaped a great white shark in Humboldt County’s Shelter Cove.

The Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department confirmed in a social media post that the bite was from a shark.

“To our recollection of our membership, we have not had an incident like this. This is a reminder that there are many hazards to be aware of when you are at the beach,” the department said in its post.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • According to an interview, Trainor would still like to continue surfing even after the attack. What do you think is his reason? Discuss.
  • Humboldt County has had 16 shark attacks according to a 2017 article. Given this record, do you think surfing, kayaking, and other activities should be restricted in this area? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Why do you think people take dangerous hobbies? Discuss.
  • If given the chance, what dangerous hobby would you like to try (ex. skydiving, deep diving)? Discuss.