A surfer was killed in a shark attack off off Santa Cruz coast in Northern California, state park officials said Saturday.
The 26-year-old man was surfing off Manresa State Beach on the northern end of Monterey Bay around 1:30 p.m. when he was attacked by an unknown shark species, the California State Parks said in a statement.
The victim’s name has not been released. Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies notified the man’s family.
The water one mile north and south of the attack will be closed for five days. Signs were posted warning beachgoers about the attack. The sign said the attack happened within 100 yards off shore.
“State Parks expresses its deepest sympathy to the family of the victim,” the statement said.
“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.
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.”
The amount of surfing and swimming has been steady while local officials close the beach every day between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to deter a surge of visitors to the coastline during the coronavirus crisis.
Monterey Bay drone photographer Eric Mailander told KRON-TV has been observing dozens of great white sharks swimming near the shoreline in recent days. He said he counted 15 sharks while out on his boat Saturday morning.
None were showing signs of aggressive predatory behavior, Mailander told the TV station.