Three beaches shut down after deadly shark attack

Great White

A possible Great White shark attack has shut down three beaches in California. Image: Flickr / hermanusbackpackers / CC-BY

In Southern California, three popular surfing beaches will be shut down for 72 hours. A shark attack that killed one 20-year-old man caused the shutdown. This is only the 12th shark bite death in California since the 1920s.

Surf Beach shark attack

The Surf Beach shark attack happened Friday morning. A shark bit off a 20-year-old college student’s leg while he was body boarding. A surfer who was nearby witnessed the attack and pulled the bodyboarder to shore. Great White sharks, which are a protected species, have been sighted by the department of Fish and Game for the last few months. There have been shark warnings issued up and down the California coast this year. Bodyboarders and surfers are particularly at risk for attacks because their boards can look much like the natural prey of sharks.

Vandenberg Air Force shark attack

The Vandenburg Air Force Base technically owns the property that Surf Beach is on. Wall and Minuteman beaches are also on the Vandenburg Air Force base property. Vandenburg shut down all three beaches for at least the next 72 hours. The Sheriff’s department is helping to enforce the ban. The Fish and Game Department is also investigating the shark attack. The three beaches that have been shut down will most likely be re-opened on Monday morning, with warnings to be aware of sharks.

History of shark attacks on Surf Beach

Since 1920, when California started keeping track of shark attacks, there have been about 100 recorded attacks. The last shark attack on Surf Beach was in 2008. A shark, which was believed to be a Great White, bit through a surfer’s board. In that attack, the surfer was not harmed. The last fatal attack in California was also in 2008 off the San Diego County beach. In the last 90 years, there have only been about 12 fatal shark attacks.


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