JAWS!: 13-year-old in critical condition after "white shark" rips his back open
The boy was rescued by three kayakers who were among the dozens who had dived into the waters near Beacon's Beach to find lobsters
A boy, who was attacked by a shark was rescued by three people and taken to a hospital by helicopter on Saturday. The 13-year-old was reportedly free diving for lobsters with other people when he was attacked by the "white shark". The incident took place near Beacon's Beach, off Neptune Avenue at the foot of Leucadia Boulevard at around 7 on Saturday morning.
The 13-year-old was already in a critical condition with his back reportedly "almost ripped off" when he was taken to the hospital. Chad Hammel, one of the kayakers who helped rescue the boy, said that by the time they rescued the boy his "entire back was open". The shark had attacked him from the clavicle to his back, and the shark's teeth had also cut part of his cheek.
Dr. Tim Fairbanks, the chief pediatric surgeon of Rady Children's Hospital, said that although the boy was taken under intensive care to help him recover, his injuries were certainly rare. He added, "This is not something we see much of, to be honest with you."
The oceanside usually gets busy and crowded during lobster diving seasons. Around two dozen people were diving on Saturday when the boy's screams were heard almost 200 yards from the shore. Along with Hammel, an off-duty Oceanside police officer, and a state parks lifeguard also heard the 13-year-old screaming. Hammel explained that although initially, it seemed like a cry of excitement, the three soon realized that it was a cry for help. After pulling up the bleeding boy into the kayak, the trio tried to apply pressure on the wounds. However, Hammel soon realized that they were being followed, "The shark was behind the kayak."
Lifeguards are currently patrolling by truck and personal watercraft advising people to stay out of the water as a precaution following this morning’s reported shark attack at Beacons beach in Encinitas.— City of Carlsbad, CA (@carlsbadcagov) September 29, 2018
Once they were out of sight from the shark, the boy was airlifted to the hospital while he was conscious. Encinitas lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles said, "We are concerned about obviously public safety. The beaches are going to be closed down right now. We are asking people not to go into the water. Giles also informed that officers are hoping that the bite marks on the boy's suit might help them track down the shark.
Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach, said in a statement, “Once we know more about the details of the incident, we may be able to determine the species involved and provide advice for future beach precautions."