Encinitas Shark Attack: 13-Year-Old Boy Attacked at Beacon's Beach in San Diego County, California

Encinitas Shark Attack
After clearing the ocean area of surfers and swimmers, lifeguards watch over the waters, off Beacon's Beach, after authorities said a young boy was attacked by a shark in Encinitas, California, September 29, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

A 13-year-old boy was attacked by a shark at Beacon's Beach in Encinitas, San Diego County, California, on Saturday. The boy was airlifted to a nearby hospital, KABC reported.

The shark was approximately 11 feet long and bit the boy in his upper torso around 175 yards from the beach, said Marine Safety Captain Larry Giles, according to KABC. It was not yet known exactly what type of shark was involved.

It was not immediately clear how severe the boy's injuries were, though he was expected to survive, according to KSWB-TV. The boy, whose identity was not released, was taken to Rady Children's Hospital for emergency surgery.

A friend told KSWB-TV the boy was on the beach early Saturday morning as part of a lobster fishing trip. Chad Hammel helped bring him to safety on a kayak after he was attacked.

"I realized that he was telling, 'I got bit! I got bit!'," Hammel told the news outlet. "His whole clavicle was ripped open. We told him he's going to be okay, he's going to be alright—we got help. I yelled at everyone to get out of the water: 'There's a shark in the water!',"

The beach was set to remain closed for the next 48 hours. Officials said they had not received any additional reports of shark sightings but urged people to stay out of the water, according to KSWB. The Stone Steps Invitation Surf Contest, previously scheduled for Saturday, was canceled, the Los Angeles Times reported.

There have been 18 unprovoked shark attacks in San Diego since 1926, according to the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida. San Diego County has the most attacks in the state, followed by Humbolt County, with 16 since 1926.

California as a whole has seen 122 unprovoked shark attacks since 1837.