A surfer was killed on Saturday after being attacked by a shark at a beach near Santa Cruz County, California.
“At around 1:30 p.m., a 26-year-old male was surfing when he was attacked by an unknown shark species,” the California Department of Parks and Recreation wrote in a press release.
The victim, who was surfing about a mile from the main parking lot at Manresa State Beach, was pronounced dead on the scene. His name has not been released, although his next of kin has been notified.
“Following State Parks protocol, the water one mile south and north of the incident location will be closed for five days and will not be reopened until Thursday, May 14, 2020,” State Parks added, noting that signs alerting beachgoers about the shark attack have also been posted.
"State Parks expresses its deepest sympathy to the family of the victim,” they wrote.
Although Gov. Gavin Newsom temporarily closed beaches in Orange County last month, many of the state’s beaches were reopened with modified hours after residents swarmed the shoreline and violated social distancing guidelines.
The Manresa State Beach is currently closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, “meaning there is no public access during this time," according to State Parks. The shark attack in question took place within this time period.
“During the other times, the beach is open to local residents that can walk or bike into the beach, provided that they maintain the recommended physical distancing of 6 ft. or more,” they added.
As California has been able to largely contain the spread of coronavirus, Newson is slowly beginning to reopen the state, but he has emphasized that residents are still months away from returning to pre-pandemic life.
California is currently in Stage 2 of reopening, which allows public spaces, childcare facilities and factories to reopen, and permits retail stores to offer curbside pickup.
Nail and hair salons, gyms and movie theaters will not be able to open until Stage 3, Newsom said. By Stage 4, the stay-at-home order in the state will be fully lifted.
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