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A California surfer was killed in a shark attack leading to a temporary closing of the beach, officials said.
Ben Kelly, 26, was named by the coroner’s office after his death Saturday afternoon when surfing off Sand Dollar Beach in Santa Cruz.
The man was attacked around 1:30pm just 100 yards the shore of the beach, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department said in a Facebook post.
After the attack, Mr Kelly was pronounced dead on the scene. The department has not determined what shark species attacked the man while he was surfing.
One resident near the incident told KRON-TV shark activity was typical in the area, but she said it was alarming to hear about a deadly attack.
“It makes me horribly sad,” she said. “I love the ocean and I hate for people to be scared of it.”
Great white sharks are common to the area.
Monterey Bay drone photographer Eric Mailander told the news station he has been observing dozens of great white sharks near the shoreline in recent days. While out on his boat Saturday, he said he counted 15 sharks.
Santa Cruz County’s beaches currently have limited hours due to Covid-19. Beachgoers are only permitted to be in the water for sports like surfing from 11am to 5pm. The sand, though, is off-limits to all residents.
Following state protocols, the water running one mile south to north surrounding the location would be closed for five days, officials said.
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