IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Shark attack claims life of 26-year-old California surfer

The stretch of state beach where the attack took place was closed for five days.

A 26-year-old surfer was killed in a shark attack near Santa Cruz, California, on Saturday, state officials said.

The attack at Manresa State Beach was reported about 1:30 p.m., the California Department of Parks and Recreation said in a statement.

"A 26-year old male was surfing when he was attacked by an unknown shark species," the department said. "The victim was pronounced dead on scene. The next of kin was notified by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department."

The stretch of beach one mile north and one mile south of the attack will be closed for five days as a matter of protocol that goes into effect when shark attacks take place, state officials said.

"Signs warning beachgoers about the shark attack are now posted on access points and beach entrances within a one-mile radius of the incident," the parks department said.

The state beach was already closed to non-locals from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of those using the ocean for water sports. The closure is part of statewide efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Last year, the United States saw a rise in shark attacks, from 32 in 2018 to 41 in 2019.