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Victim attacked by juvenile great white shark in Del Mar recounts encounter from hospital bed

A woman attacked by a shark in the Del Mar area of San Diego stressed the importance of swimming with a buddy and near a lifeguard as she recovers in the hospital.

SAN DIEGO — The woman who found herself inside the jaws of a shark off the coast of Del Mar shared her story with CBS 8. The attack happened Friday morning while she was swimming with a friend.

Lyn Jutronich has been swimming her entire life, and as an avid ocean water swimmer, she knows the risk is there but says she never expected an encounter like this. 

She recounted the horror from her hospital bed and said she was happy to be alive.

"It was terrifying, but it was a split second, and I didn't have enough time to respond. So as soon as I got rammed, I went, 'oh, I just got bit by a shark,' and then I saw the jaws, and then after that, it let me go, it shook me like one time kind of like a dog does, and it let me go, and that's when I knew. So I said to my swim partner, 'David, I've been bit; we have to get into shore'," said Jutronich. 

Jutronich said she was on a one-mile swim with her partner Friday morning – a route she's been doing 2 to 3 times a week all summer. 

Depending on conditions, the swim typically takes 30-40 minutes to complete, but she said she and her swim partner found themselves further out than usual that morning.

"Simply because the waves broke farther than they normally do that day. We weren't near the half-mile buoy yet, but it was farther than I'm comfortable being," she added.

After the terrifying attack, Jutronich and her partner swam to shore and got the attention of lifeguards who hadn't realized the severity of the situation.

Once on safe ground – lifeguards told a startled Jutronich that the bite hadn't punctured an artery and told her she would be 'ok.'

"When that happened, I felt a sense of relief," she added.

Even though she will be ok --- her injuries are still severe.

"The biggest wound is about 8 centimeters long, about 2.5 wide, and 2-3 centimeters deep – that's the biggest one," said Jutronich.

After the encounter, the 50-year-old stressed the importance of swimming in a life-guarded area and warned others never to swim alone.

When asked if she'll get back on the water after what happened, she said she's taking it 'one step at a time.'

"First I'm going to focus on healing my wounds, and then I'm going to focus on healing the psychology of it. Step by step" added Jutronich.

The shark that bit Jutronich was not captured.

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