Surfer dies in shark attack at Santa Cruz County beach

California

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — The person attacked by a shark on Saturday at a Santa Cruz County beach has died, according to authorities.

The 26-year-old man was surfing at Manresa State Beach when he was attacked.

“Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, there’s a mother who lost her child in an accident that seems so outrageous compared to what’s going on in the world,” one resident said.

California state park officials responded around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department.

Officials say the shark attacked the victim within 100 yards of the shore. The type of shark species that attacked the victim is unknown.

The news shocked residents.

“Just to think of a 26-year-old dying is horrible to me, terrifying,” a woman said.

She said shark activity has been common in the area, but news of a fatal attack is alarming.

“It makes me horribly sad,” she said. “I love the ocean and I hate for people to be scared of it.”

Under Santa Cruz County’s current COVID-19 social distancing beach rules, between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. the only place beach-goers are permitted to be is in the water. The sand is off-limits, but surfers are allowed to traverse the sand to reach the ocean.

Great white sharks are commonly seen swimming near the beaches of Santa Cruz County during this time of year, however, attacks against people are very rare.

Monterey Bay drone photographer Eric Mailander has been observing dozens of great white sharks swimming near the shoreline in recent days. While back out on his boat Saturday morning, he counted 15 sharks. None were showing signs of aggressive predatory behavior, he said.

Check back for updates as this is a developing story

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