A 26-year-old surfer was killed by a shark off a state beach in Santa Cruz County Saturday afternoon, park officials reported.
It was the first fatal shark attack in the state in nearly eight years. The last one occurred off Santa Barbara.
The attack occurred within 100 yards from shore just south of Manresa State Beach on the northern end of Monterey Bay around 1:30 p.m. The victim was declared dead at the scene. Officials did not immediately release the surfer’s identity, though some news outlets were reporting his name.
“State Parks expresses its deepest sympathy to the family of the victim,” said a statement from California Department of Parks and Recreation.
A neighbor told KION-TV that the victim was surfing with two other men when the attack occurred. The other two were later seen with sheriff’s deputies.
Officials did not yet know the type of shark that attacked the surfer. But a drone photographer told KRON4-TV that he had spotted dozens of great white sharks in the area close to shore the last few days.
Signs about the attack were posted on the beach, and waters a mile north and south of the beach will be closed for five days until Thursday.
With the exception of water sports, the beach is closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day because of COVID-19 restrictions.
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