A shark attacked a woman on Friday in the Pacific waters north of San Diego, officials said.

The woman was treated at a hospital for puncture and laceration wounds to her upper right thigh, according to Jon Edelbrock, lifeguard chief for the city of Del Mar. She received stitches and is recovering.

The shark may have been a juvenile white shark, Edelbrock said, but officials are waiting for scientists to confirm that. Juvenile white sharks often swim in the waters off Del Mar’s shoreline.

A lifeguard spotted the woman and her friend just after 10am as they were heading back to shore following a mile-plus swim, Edelbrock said. Their strokes changed and the friend was waving his arms for help in the water a few hundred yards from the beach, but outside the surf zone.

Lifeguards, who did not spot the shark, helped the pair back to shore, he said.

The beach is closed for at least 48 hours under the city’s shark bite protocol.

“She had a diligent swim buddy,” Edelbrock said. “They both maintained their composure quite well.”

Del Mar is about 20 miles (32km) north of downtown San Diego.

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