A 13-year-old boy diving for lobster on the opening day of the season was attacked by a shark Saturday morning near Beacon’s Beach in Encinitas, authorities said.
The attack occurred just before 7 a.m. off Neptune Avenue at the foot of Leucadia Boulevard.
A group of people also diving for lobsters in the area heard the boy’s screams for help and paddled over to rescue him, according to Encinitas lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles.
They saw he was bleeding badly from a serious clavicle wound, Chad Hammel, one of the rescuers, told Fox 5 News. The trio of rescuers included an off-duty Oceanside police officer and a state parks lifeguard, Giles said.
“Once we threw him up on the kayak and started heading in, that’s when I looked back, and the shark was behind the kayak,” Hammel told the news station. “He didn’t want to give up yet.”
The extent of the boy’s upper body injuries was not released, although authorities described the wounds as “non-fatal.” The victim was airlifted to Rady Children’s Hospital.
The boy’s father was on the beach at the time of the attack, Giles said.
It was not known what species of shark was responsible for the attack. A shark had been spotted in the area about a week earlier, Giles said, although it was not known if it was the same one. Giles noted there are 135 different species of sharks, most of them not considered dangerous.
Authorities have closed the coastline from Ponto Beach in Carlsbad to Swami’s in Encinitas for the next 48 hours. The Stone Steps Invitational Surf Contest scheduled for Saturday has been cancelled.