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Calif. beaches closed after deadly shark attack



VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  — Officials closed three beaches in California on Friday after a shark killed a beachgoer, local media reported.

The victim died after being bitten by a shark while bodyboarding off Surf Beach at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday morning, the Santa Maria Times reported.

The victim was a Santa Barbara City College student who was not affiliated with the military, sources told the newspaper.

Authorities won't release details but a source told KEYT-TV the victim "had his leg bitten off and lost too much blood."

A Santa Barbara County coroner's investigator was sent to the scene.

Officials at Vandenberg closed Surf, Wall and Minuteman beaches for at least 72 hours, Lt. Ann Blodzinski told the Santa Barbara Independent. Surf Beach is in Santa Barbara County, just north of Los Angeles County.

In September 2008, base officials issued a 48-hour warning to beach users after a shark bit a surfer’s board at Surf Beach, according to the Santa Maria Times.  

Base officials said at the time that they believed it was the first shark incident off Vandenberg, the newspaper reported.

Fatal shark attacks are rare in the area. A great white shark killed a woman in 2003 at Avila Beach, about 30 miles north of Vandenberg.

Great whites also killed two men in 2004 and 2008 at beaches in Mendocino and San Diego counties.

© 2010 msnbc.com

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Avatar universal
Living here in southwest florida, I used to go to the beaches at all hours and just jump in. I dont do that anymore after seeing an aerial view of the area. It is shark infested! I mean major! We who live here know when not to go into the water, like at dusk when the sharks feed for example. There was a guy fishing a year ago win water up to his knees and he got bit. Now I only swim where there are large groups of people! This is my worst nightmare, going out as fishfood is not cool!
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Avatar universal
I grew up land locked in Southern Nevada, but with the California coast so close, we used to spend a lot of time at the beach.  I've always been afraid of big or deep water.  Then I go and see Jaws.....Holy Moly!  It takes all I have to get in the ocean now.

I've always had the luck that if something bad was gonna happen, it would happen to me or right next to me..... I just feel as if I cant take that risk...LOL
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377493 tn?1356502149
I am absolutely terrified of sharks.  I HATE snorkeling or anything else involving the ocean.  We went on a shark dive in the Dominican once..no idea how my husband talked me into that!  But it was only nurse sharks, so not dangerous.  But I very very rarely go into the ocean anywhere now.  They are starting to be found in areas not normally found due to the climate changes and changes in migratory paths of their food sources.  Nope, I will stick to the swimming pool thanks!
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684030 tn?1415612323
There have been nearly 100 shark attacks in California since the 1920s, including a
dozen that were fatal, according to the California Department of Fish and Game.

Here we go again, media frenzy......100 shark attacks in 80 to 90 years.
How many fatal accidents caused by drivers of vehicles in the last 80 to 90 years?
An estimated 2,300,000 deaths on the road versus an estimated 50 deaths by sharks.
Forget the sharks, stay off the roads and stay alive... the media ignores the reality.

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Avatar universal
I didnt find this to be a media frenzy type thing, especially with how the media can really blow something up to be far larger than it really is.  

And you are too correct that the media ignores reality....I believe there are more lightning deaths than shark deaths.  (I ought to look that up)
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377493 tn?1356502149
I think that's why an attack like this gets so much attention though. If they reported every fatal car accident, that would be pretty much all they would do and no one would ever watch.  It's all about the ratings.  

It does seem there is an increase in shark attacks though...and given that man is not natural pray for sharks, it's interesting.  
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585414 tn?1288941302
   Actually I did watch a documentary a while back where it was noted that a person surfing can be confused by sharks (most of which are predatory but not all) for a seal which of course they do attack. As with most attacks from wild animals it most probably is because there is increased contact with them and also shifts in climate patterns may from time to time make sharks go from one area to another. There are also specific strategies for surfers on how to avoid this. I mostly went swimming in the pool as a young person. I did swim in the ocean a few times and one time got stung by jellyfish which was unpleasant but no more than that. I also as a kid was taken on a canoe ride on the Okefenokee Swamp and in viewing distance from alligators and it was a little too close for comfort lol. With all animal attacks there are specific strategies to prevent them though. I generally worry about things closer to home.
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