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Surf Beach shark victim identified [Updated]

October 22, 2010 |  2:16 pm

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.