The Coast News Group
Photographer Robin Lowe caught this juvenile great white shark in shallow waters just north of the San Clemente Pier. The sharks are grey on the top; white on the bottom.
File photo

Teen in critical condition after shark attack at Beacon’s Beach

ENCINITAS — A teenage boy was seriously injured this morning when he was bitten by a shark off the Encinitas shoreline while diving for lobster on the first day of the season.

It happened just before 7 a.m. at Beacon’s Beach, on Neptune Avenue near Leucadia Boulevard, according to Encinitas officials.

The boy, 13, was airlifted to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he is in critical condition.

Tim Fairbanks, director of pediatric surgery at Rady, told reporters during a news conference that the boy — whose name wasn’t released — was stabilized and taken into surgery.

“By the request of the family, we will not be releasing details as to the nature of his injuries or the treatments that were required,” Fairbanks said.

Witness Chad Hammel told Fox 5 he was with a group of friends diving for lobster when he heard the teen screaming.

“His whole clavicle was ripped open,” Hammel told the news station. “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.”

The beach where the attack happened is set to be closed until Monday morning, according to city of Encinitas spokeswoman Lois Yum.

Signs were posted, and a lifeguard patrol boat and a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department helicopter will monitor the area.

No shark activity has been witnessed since the incident, city officials said.

A unified command including officials with California State Parks, California Fish and Game, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the city of Solana Beach and the city of Carlsbad were working with a marine scientist to determine the type of shark that caused the injury.

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