Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Surf Beach shark victim identified [Updated]

The victim of the shark attack off Surf Beach on Friday morning has been identified as Lucas Ransom, a 19-year-old college student from Romoland, Calif., authorities said.

Ransom was boogie boarding about 150 yards offshore at about 8:50 a.m. when the attack occurred, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Grossini said Friday afternoon at a news conference on the beach. A friend who was surfing near him witnessed what happened, as did two people on the beach, Grossini said.   

"He saw his friend go under for a brief moment and knew something was wrong,'' Grossini said of Ransom's surfer friend. The friend and the witnesses helped Ransom get to shore, he said. Ransom suffered a massive wound to his left leg, the sheriff's department said in a statement. He was pronounced dead at the scene by personnel from Vandenberg AFB fire department. Me.shark

Ransom lost a portion of his leg in the attack, Grossini said. Authorities are patrolling the coastline trying to find the missing body part, he said. They recovered the boogie board, which had a segment bitten off.

Witnesses said they saw the shark and estimated it to be 14 to 18 feet long.

[Updated at 2:22 p.m.: Authorities previously provided the incorrect last name for Ransom as Ranson. He was a junior in chemical engineering at UC Santa Barbara, authorities said.]

-- Steve Chawkins at Surf Beach

Top photo: The body board used by Lucas Ransom wnen he was attacked by a shark.

Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Bottom photo: An undated photo of, from left, Matthew Garcia, Lucas Ransom and his brother Travis. The boy at the far right is unidentified.

Comments () | Archives (26)

How does one Boogie-board 150 yards from shore? Maybe he was in a rip or something.

Gonna miss ya Luke.

RIP to this young man. Sounds like a Great White did this.

At what point are we going to take the growing shark threat seriously in southern California? Something is drawing them closer to the shoreline. Is this part of the Santa Barbara coastline known to have a shark population?

Poor kid

Here's a PE story with Lucas Ramson's photo. He worked as a lifeguard in Riverside County when he was 16 and helped save an unconscious swimmer's life.


Thanks for the link to the article. It's wonderful that he saved a life at such a young age. I'm sure his parents and family are very proud, as they should be!

"Growing shark threat" Huh? Sharks have been around since the dinosaurs. Our growing population is the problem. My heart goes out for the kid and his family but there's a risk associated with being in the water with great whites. Don't blame the shark for being a shark. It was just a tragic occurence.

I live up here in Lompoc. This is the second fatal attack on a person by a shark in six or seven years. What can you do about it, though? Permanently ban people from the water? There are warning signs and everyone knows about the danger. Sometimes things happen. It's unfortunate for this young man that it happened to him today.

JohnRJ08 I know people that have taken their boogie boards up to about a mile or so off shore. Probably thinking twice about it now.

Pete... Whenever you enter the ocean you are also entering the food chain.

So terrible.

take care buddy

Hey "growing shark threat" guy,
you're pretty clueless about the ocean eh? In fact, recent studies indicate that shark populations globally and locally have been decimated by unregulated fishing. Sharks have always patrolled in the surf zone, nothing new there. I'm a Santa Barbara county surfer and I get spooked by that fishy feeling every now and again, but I have to say that I hope this tragedy doesn't result in the tragic slaughter of any of these beautiful predators.

How to kill people: step one, protect the sharks; step two, protect the seals; step three, encourage seal and sea lion populations to take up residence near or directly in human swimming and surfing areas.

See this link... http://www.friendsofthechildrenspool.com/lajollaseals_sharks.htm.

Great whites 25 miles north and south of a seal colonoy, e.g. the la jolla seals, and other seal and sea lion colonies along the coast are a major risk to human life. Thanks to city and town legislation is in place to protect and encourage seals and sea lions population explosion in the most populated swimming and surfing area in the state. La Jolla, Del Mar or Pacific Beach, next most likely shark attack on a human.

A program should be put in place to make sure the state's new McSharks that are open as a result of the MMPA and exploding seal and sea lion populations are re-located far from human centers of swimming. This is a known risk we can do something about.

Surf Beach is North of Pt. Conception and that's shark country... colder, rougher waters and lots of sea lions, seals, and prey that Whites prefer.

Growing shark threats? While this is truly unfortunate (my heart goes out to him and his family) there are many threats in southern California in greater number and severity.

i say shark fin soup is on the menu tonight...poor kid man. u want to deal with growing population, dont let obama pass universal health care...

As a UCSB alum, I'll bet if he knew he had to go at 19, this would be in one of his top five. RIP.

"At what point are we going to take the growing shark threat seriously in southern California? Something is drawing them closer to the shoreline. Is this part of the Santa Barbara coastline known to have a shark population?"

What are you talking about? There are no more sharks now than there have ever been, and great whites are a near-shore feeding species, so they've always been near the shoreline. Yes, Santa Barbara is known to have a shark population. All of California has a shark population. Great whites migrate all along the California coast, and always have. And that's just one species. California only averages about one attack a year, and about one fatality a decade. Given the tens of millions of people who go in the water every year it's so rare that it's not statistically different from zero. The only reason it even makes the news is because it is so rare and so unusual. So what "threat" are you talking about?

Prayers to the kid and his family and friends , I am an old boogie border from So Cal , I have been in that area , its a risk we all take when we go out , to put it in perspective Cal has about 9 homicides per day , they just dont make the news , so on that basis humans are much more dangerous than any shark , peace .

It is too bad this accident raises cries to control nature. Because it truely was an accident -- people are not what sharks hunt. And we could never control that which is wild. What does this accomplish?

JohnRJo8 and Anon please don't mix up "boogieboarding" and bodyboarding. "Boogieboarding" is what 7 year olds do in whitewash, bodyboarding is a legitimate water sport. The kid knew what he was doing if he was at Surf Beach, it's a heavy break. Let's not question what he was doing.

Bodyboarding for those who don't know.


This was a tragic incident--but isn't it time that people use their ingenuity to design wet suits and boards that don't resemble seals, a favorite food item of the great white. We should be researching this right now.

Bite marks on the BoogieBoard are from a Great White Shark

s from santa rosa, I don't think that would help because the shark's way of determining if something is food is to bite it. They don't have fingers or toes. They are attracted to all the splashing and electrical fields generated by our bodies. I don't think that a simple change in aesthetics would make a difference. They will bite on things that don't really resemble food like kayak paddles.

perhaps a better idea would be to design wetsuits that have been hybridized with stab vests? ;)

Interesting that you all jumped on Peter for making this observation but the truth is - he is correct. There was an advisory about 2 months ago for so cal beaches due to higher than usual shark sightings at so cal beaches. KTLA filmed a juvenile shark at sunset beach in late august/september. Some have hypothesized that the mild summer we had kept water temps cooler making conditions more favorable for sharks.

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: