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Fatal shark attack is second at beach in two years

October 23, 2012 |  1:53 pm
A sign warning surfers of a shark attack is posted at Surf Beach after Lucas Ransom, 19, was killed while boogie-boarding on Oct. 22, 2010. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

Tuesday's apparent shark attack at Vandenberg Air Force Base marks the second such fatal incident in two years -- almost to the day -- at Surf Beach.

The circumstances of the attack were not immediately known, but authorities at the base said they received a distress call Tuesday morning about a possible shark attack off the Santa Barbara County coast from a friend of the 38-year-old man who died.

On Oct. 22, 2010, 19-year-old Lucas Ransom and his friend were boogie-boarding when a shark appeared out of nowhere and pulled Ransom under.

His surfing buddy, Matthew Garcia, said the shark was 18 to 20 feet long.

"It was very stealth," he told The Times after the attack. "You would have never known there was a shark in the water. It was all really quick."

The water turned red, he said: "Imagine a river of blood. That's what the wave looked like for a minute."

Ransom's left leg was ripped off at the pelvis, his parents said. Garcia tried to give him chest compressions as he pulled him to shore. But he was bleeding profusely and died before they got there.

Witnesses told authorities that the young men were about 100 yards offshore when the attack occurred.

Officials at Vandenberg advised people to stay away from the beach following Tuesday's attack.

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Photo: A sign warning surfers of a shark attack is posted at Surf Beach after Lucas Ransom, 19, was killed while boogie-boarding on Oct. 22, 2010. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

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