Teenager killed in shark attack on California beach, water was like 'river of blood'

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Based on Ransom's injuries, it is thought that he was attacked by a great white shark, who are known as the most frequent unprovoked attackers.
Image: Terry Goss.

A nineteen-year-old California teenager, Lucas Ransom, was killed on Friday when he was attacked by a shark while he and his friend Matthew Garcia were surfing at Surf Beach west of Lompoc and within Vandenberg Air Force Base's 42 mile coastline. "Imagine a river of blood. That's what the wave looked like for a minute," Garcia said. "It was very stealth. You would have never known there was a shark in the water. It was all really quick." The Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department stated that they believed the shark was between 14 and 20 feet (4.3 and 6.1 meters) long.

Cquote1.svg Imagine a river of blood. That's what the wave looked like for a minute ... You would have never known there was a shark in the water. It was all really quick. Cquote2.svg

—Matthew Garcia

The pair had been in the water for about 45 minutes when a shark appeared and pulled Ransom under the waves, Garcia added. There was no warning. The shark appeared to be about 18 to 20 feet long. Ransom looked at his friend a couple of feet away and said "Help me, dude," before getting lost in the waves, Garcia said. Ransom's parents confirmed that the shark tore his leg from his pelvis and Garcia attempted to revive Ransom with chest compressions, but he died from loss of blood. Witnesses told officials that the teenagers were about 100 yards (90 meters) from the shore when the shark attacked. Firefighters from the Vandenberg Air Force Base pronounced Ransom dead at the scene. "He was a great guy and great friend," Garcia said.

Officials immediately closed local beaches after the attacks and they will remain closed for at least three days. Wildlife officials are still trying to determine what type of shark was involved, but based on the boy's injuries it is thought to have been a great white shark, who are known as the most frequent unprovoked attackers. Local lifeguards speculated the attack could have been a case of mistaken identity as Ransom was wearing a gray wet suit at the time, which may have made him appear as a seal. Shark attacks are extremely rare on the west coast of the United States.


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