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Shark attack kills 26-year-old surfer in California

Ben Kelly was surfing in northern California when he was attacked by a shark of unknown species.
Credit: AP
A closure sign reading "Closure, Shark Attack, Do Not Enter" is posted at Manresa State Beach near Watsonville, south of San Jose, Calif., Sunday, May 10, 2020.

APTOS, Calif. — A surfer killed in a shark attack off a Northern California beach has been identified as a 26-year-old man who lived in the area, officials said.

The victim was surfing near Manresa State Beach on the northern end of Monterey Bay Saturday afternoon when he was attacked by a shark of unknown species, California State Parks said in a statement.

Coroner's officials identified him as Ben Kelly, a surfboard maker from Santa Cruz County, according to KRON-TV on Sunday. Kelly died at the scene. Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies notified his family.

The water 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) north and south of the attack are closed until Thursday. Signs were posted warning beachgoers about the attack. One sign said it happened within 100 yards (91 meters) of shore.

“State Parks expresses its deepest sympathy to the family of the victim,” the statement said.

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The amount of surfing and swimming has been steady while local officials close the beach every day between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to deter a surge of visitors to the coastline during the coronavirus crisis.

Monterey Bay drone photographer Eric Mailander told KRON he has observed dozens of great white sharks swimming near the shoreline in recent days. He said he counted 15 sharks while out on his boat Saturday morning.

None were showing signs of aggressive behavior, Mailander told the news station.

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