Body boarder fatally attacked by shark in Santa Barbara County; area beaches closed [Updated]
A 19-year-old man was fatally attacked by a shark while body-boarding north of Santa Barbara on Friday morning.
[Updated at 3:04 p.m.: The victim has been identified as Lucas McKaine Ransom of Romoland in Riverside County.]
The attack occurred between 9 and 9:30 a.m. at Surf Beach, west of Lompoc at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Officials ordered the closure of Surf, Wall and Minuteman beaches for at least 72 hours due to the attack.
A base spokesman told L.A. Times staff writer Andrew Blankstein that Santa Barbara County coroner's investigators were at the beach and that the investigation is being handled in conjunction with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.
The Santa Maria Times reports that the victim, a UC Santa Barbara student, was in the water with a friend about 100 yards offshore when a shark bit part of his left leg off, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
The friend brought the victim to shore, but his injuries were severe and he bled to death, Brown said.
Federal and State Fish and Game officials are working to identify the type of shark, which was described as being 14 to 20 feet in length.
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Airmen 1st class Daniel Clark, left, and Staff Sgt. Keri Embry post a sign warning surfers of a shark attack Friday at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Associated Press