California surfer dead in suspected great white shark attack

‘Obviously, it’s tragic and we’re all sad, especially given the time this occurred’

Bevan Hurley
Saturday 25 December 2021 15:20
<p>Surfer killed in great white shark attack on Christmas Eve </p>

Surfer killed in great white shark attack on Christmas Eve

A surfer has died after being attacked by a great white shark off the central California coast on Christmas Eve.

The 31-year-old male boogie boarder was pulled from the water just before 11am local time at Morro Bay State Park beach, the Morro Bay Police Department said in a statement.

He was unresponsive and was pronounced dead at 10.48am.

Morro Bay Harbor Patrol Director Eric Endersby told the San Luis Obispo Tribune a woman who had been surfing nearby saw the man face down in the water near his boogie board, and brought him ashore.

Mr Endersby said they hadn’t located any witnesses to the attack, but bite marks on the victim were consistent with a shark attack. 

The surfer’s name was not immediately released as authorities tried to notify his next of kin.

“Obviously, it’s tragic and we’re all sad, especially given the time this occurred,” Mr Endersby told the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

“Our condolences go out to the families.”

San Luis Obispo County Coroners Office are investigating the death.

Police ordered beachgoers to stay out of the water for 24 hours after the incident.

It is believed to be the first fatal shark attack in the United States in 2021.

Morro Bay is about 200 miles (320 kilometres) north of Los Angeles.

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