LEUCADIA, Calif. - A 13-year-old boy attacked by a shark along the Southern California coast is in critical but stable condition.
The boy was attacked by an 11-foot long shark early Saturday morning as he was lobster diving among a large group of divers. His mother was on the beach watching at the time of the terrifying incident.
Surfer Mike McInnis said, "I've never seen on a Saturday morning with a little bit of surf coming again, nobody out at Beacon's." That is the Leucadia beach that was deserted after the shark brutally attacked the boy Saturday morning just before 7:00 a.m.
Lifeguard Larry Giles said, "I saw the lights on the beach from the emergency crew, and I started running down." The victim was laying on the sand and there was a crew of lifeguards," he continued.
He said emergency crews rushed to Beacon's Beach to get the boy treated for injuries to his upper torso and ear that caused heavy bleeding. "He just looked like he was in shock," Giles said. Paramedics transported the teenager to Rady Childrens Hospital by helicopter as witnesses watched in amazement.
Mike McInnis said, "I just couldn't believe it was happening in my surf break. I surf here almost every day," he added.
The shark attack prompted lifeguards to post signs closing Beacon's Beach and the area from La Costa Avenue to Swami's Beach in Encinitas for 48 hours.
"This is a non-fatal incident, and we don't want anybody else getting injured," said lifeguard Larry Giles. "That is why we are taking the precautions."
Officials are now looking into what kind of shark attacked the 13-year-old boy. The shark was seen in the water by bystanders who were not sure exactly what type of shark it was - but agreed it was in the 11-foot range.
Multiple agencies responded to the terrifying incident, including the Encinitas Fire Department.
McInnis said his thoughts and prayers are with the young boy and his family, and says he feels safer knowing that the rescuers and lifeguards are doing such a tremendous job looking out for people's safety.
A surf competition scheduled for Sunday was cancelled, and the stretch of beach is closed until 7:00 a.m. on Monday.