Santa Cruz, Calif., beaches shut down after shark attack

July 13 (UPI) — The Santa Cruz Fire Department in California said it has imposed a temporary swimming and water activity ban in beaches near where a shark attacked a kayaker’s boat.

The SCFD said the shark attack occurred Tuesday near West Cliff Drive and Pelton Avenue, adding that the city will prohibit all water activities within a 1-mile radius of the attack until Saturday morning.

“Fire Department Marine Safety personnel have confirmed that a seasoned kayaker had his kayak attacked by a large shark about a quarter mile out from Steamer Lane. The kayaker was uninjured in the attack, but the kayak sustained extensive damage,” the SCFD said in a statement.

The kayaker — identified as Steve Lawson — later said the shark was a great white, which bit the front of the kayak. Lawson said he was thrown into the water and he then used his marine radio to call harbor patrol.

“Attacks like these are extremely rare in Santa Cruz County, and we are so thankful that the kayaker was uninjured,” Santa Cruz Fire Chief Jim Frawley said. “This is a reminder that swimming in the ocean does carry some risk and we encourage all swimmers, surfers and kayakers to be mindful of their surroundings and follow directions of lifeguards and Marine Safety staff.”

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