SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — 5/1/2017 — A mother of three from Vista was "fighting for her life'' in a trauma center today in the aftermath of a San Onofre-area shark attack in which she lost much of her right leg and nearly drowned.
Leeanne Ericson, 35, was swimming in the surf off the coast of Camp Pendleton about 6:30 p.m. Saturday when a shark tore off the back of her thigh "from her glute to her knee,'' her mother, Christine McKnerney Leidle, wrote on a GoFundMe.com page set up to help defray the victim's medical costs.
"She's now in Scripps Memorial Hospital (La Jolla) fighting for her life,'' McKnerney Leidle wrote.
Ericson, who was placed in a medically induced coma, "has a long (road) ahead with several surgeries to go,'' her mother stated.
More than $24,000 had been donated to the victim via the web page by late Monday afternoon.
Authorities closed the beach in an area known as "Church'' and were warning residents and visitors to stay out of the water. The site was expected to reopen to the public Wednesday morning, according to Camp Pendleton officials.
The attack — believed to have been carried out by a great white or a sevengill shark — was only the 11th recorded in the area in the past seven decades. The most recent fatal shark attack in San Diego County was off Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach in 2008.
4/30/2017 — San Onofre beach on Camp Pendleton will remain closed until Wednesday due to a shark attack that left a Vista woman severely injured, according to base officials.
Leeanne Ericson, a mother of three, was swimming at the beach near Camp Pendleton Marine Base Saturday evening when the shark "tore her right back leg from her glute to her knee," according to a GoFundMe page called "Leanne's medical fund."
Ericson was airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
Nearly 200 people had contributed $15,200 by Monday morning on the GoFundMe page with a goal of $200,000.
The victim's mother, Christine McKnerney Leidle, wrote that Ericson almost drowned during the attack and now "has a long road ahead with several surgeries to go."
The attack took place on the Camp Pendleton portion of the beach, however the victim was a civilian, confirmed by 1st LT Abigail Peterson of the Camp Pendleton Media Affairs office.
San Onofre State Beach in the area called "Church" or "Churches" would be closed until Wednesday, according to base officials. The beach was closed at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, shortly after the attack.
Two other shark sightings were reported in the same area over the past month. Lifeguards say it is not unusual to see sharks in the area but shark attacks are rare.
Saturday's attack was only the 11th recorded in the area in the past seven decades, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The last fatal shark attack in San Diego County was off Fletcher Cove in 2008.
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