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13-year-old boy sustains 'traumatic injuries' after being attacked by shark in California

Posted: 10:36 AM, Sep 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-29 19:54:03Z
Child attacked by shark in California
Child attacked by shark in California

ENCINITAS, Calif. — A 13-year-old boy was attacked by a shark while lobster diving off the coast of Encinitas, California Saturday morning.

The attack was reported just before 7 a.m. in the 900 block of Neptune Ave. at Beacon Beach, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said. San Diego Fire-Rescue lifeguards were also on scene.

The 13-year-old endured traumatic injuries to his upper torso and was airlifted to Rady Children’s Hospital. The child was conscious and talking, according to Encinitas Lifeguards Captain Larry Giles.

There have been no other reports of shark sightings and officials are unsure of what type of shark attacked the boy.

Witness video showed divers waving down responders as the child was pulled to shore and treated before being airlifted from the beach.

Chad Hammel, who was diving nearby, said he and his friends heard the victim scream for help after being bit and swam over to help.

"We're not in the water for over 30 minutes and we hear screaming ... And then I realized that he was yelling, 'I got bit. Help!'" said Hammel. "We swim over to him, throw him on the kayak ... we're telling him he's going to be ok.

"Luckily we got him out of the water because once we threw him up on the kayak and started heading in, that's when I looked back and the shark was behind the kayak."

Hammel said that Saturday was opening day for lobster diving and the victim was diving for lobster for the first time.