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Funeral, memorial service and ocean paddle-out to be held for Lucas Ransom; shark identified as great white

October 26, 2010 |  1:38 pm

Lucas2 The family of 19-year-old shark-attack victim Lucas Ransom will hold a viewing, rosary and funeral Mass Wednesday at 5 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church, 269 W. 3rd Street in Perris.

On Thursday, a separate memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. at Evans-Brown Mortuary, 27010 Encanto Drive in Sun City, just south of the family's home in Romoland.

And at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, family and friends will gather at the south side of the Oceanside Pier in Oceanside, where a paddle-out will be held to scatter flowers into the Pacific Ocean in Ransom's memory.

All events are open to the public.

Ransom was attacked by a shark and died from his injuries Friday while body-boarding with a friend off Surf Beach at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

On Monday, California Department of Fish and Game officials said they are all but certain that the attack was likely by a great white shark.

"It would be highly surprising if it was anything else," Fish and Game marine biologist Carrie Wilson told The Press-Enterprise. "Typically when these things occur, it's a case of mistaken identity. These sharks really don't have much interest in humans. We're too skinny compared to seals and sea lions," Wilson said. "They want the blubber and high meat content."

Board2 While it's not certain that a white shark was the attacker, the attack pattern is a strong indicator, based on the aggressive behavior and the reported size of the shark, estimated at 14- to 16-feet long.

"The behavior is what you'd expect from a great white," Wilson said. "The typical mode of hunt is an ambush predator. They like to take their prey by surprise and come from underneath."

Wilson went on to point out that shark attacks on humans are rare.

"More people are in the water up and down the coast and we know the sharks are out there looking for food," she said. "Every once in a blue moon we have these things occur. When you look at the number of people in the water, it's pretty small. The shark wasn't doing anything sharks don't do. It was just looking for prey."

Before Friday's attack there had been only 11 fatal attacks by white sharks on humans off California since the 1950s. The last fatal attack by a great white off California was in April 2008, involving a swimmer off Solana Beach in San Diego County.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photos: (top) Lucas Ransom, right, in a family photo with his brother Travis. Credit: Ransom family

(bottom) Photo of bodyboard with shark bite. Credit:  Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Dept.


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