Surfer killed in shark attack off California coast

LOS ANGELES Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:36am EDT

Lt. Erik Raney, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's spokesperson, answers questions during a media briefing following a shark attack in the waters off of Vandenberg's Surf Beach, near Vandenberg Air Force Base, Califoria in this handout photograph released by the U.S. Air Force on October 23, 2012. REUTERS/SSgt Levi Riendeau/U.S. Air Force Photo/Handout

Lt. Erik Raney, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's spokesperson, answers questions during a media briefing following a shark attack in the waters off of Vandenberg's Surf Beach, near Vandenberg Air Force Base, Califoria in this handout photograph released by the U.S. Air Force on October 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/SSgt Levi Riendeau/U.S. Air Force Photo/Handout

Related Video

Related Topics

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A shark killed a male surfer at a popular surf spot off California's coast on Tuesday in the second fatal shark attack at the same beach in two years, authorities said.

The incident took place at Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of the coastal city of Santa Barbara. The beach was closed by authorities after the attack.

"It was a confirmed shark attack and a confirmed death," a Santa Barbara County Sheriff's spokeswoman said.

A friend of the surfer pulled him out of the water after the late-morning attack, but life-saving efforts were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Authorities could not immediately identify the size or type of shark involved.

"I don't think they saw enough of the shark to identify it," sheriff's department spokeswoman Diane Cline said.

Fatal shark attacks are rare on the U.S. West Coast, according to records kept by the Shark Research Committee, a nonprofit group that documents attacks.

Surfers were the most frequent victims and Great White sharks were the most frequent attackers, according to the group.

The attack came almost exactly two years after a shark attacked a 19-year-old man on a boogie board at the same beach on October 22, 2010, pulling him underwater. That man died from wounds to his leg.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Will Dunham)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
kershtin wrote:
Ok well news flash, if your in a forest or in a ocean and your a human being your no longer in your realm your not the apex predator anymore. I am from Northern Wisconsin and I live in the forest and yes people up here have disappeared in the forest here never to be seen or herd from again. We have cougar up here they attack with lightening speed and kill almost instantly. We also have black bear, which can be dangerous, and a moose can stomp and kick you to death. We have wolf too many of those but I’ve never herd of one of those killing someone in Wisconsin but BOTTOM LINE! If your in the woods here be aware of your surroundings don’t take safety for granted.

Oct 24, 2012 10:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ErnestPayne wrote:
Unfortunate but he was in the shark’s territory. With declining food stocks for sharks you can probably expect more “attacks”.

Oct 24, 2012 12:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Pictures