Local Surfer Dies After Shark Attack Saturday Near Santa Cruz

Cowells Beach and Cove.
Local Surfer Dies After Shark Attack

"A surfer was killed in a shark attack on Saturday at Manresa State Beach in Santa Cruz County.

The 26-year-old man was attacked around 1:30 p.m. by an unknown shark species about a mile south of the main parking lot, California State Parks said in a statement.

The surfer was pronounced dead at the scene and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has notified his family.

According to the sheriff’s office, the attack occurred within 100 yards of shore near Sand Dollar Beach...."

We were boogie boarding on Saturday around the same time just a few miles away. Oddly enough, a fish or something swam into me while I was in a little over waist deep water and startled me.

While a shark bite death is sobering for anyone that spends any significant time in the water, the facts remain that you're far more likely get hurt by another human or your own self.

This other article identifies him as Ben Kelly.

Pretty sad but I will also say that I still went out and surfed yesterday. Maybe a little extra vigilant and also a little extra thankful to be a standup paddleboarder which gives me a better view into the water and changes my silhouette from under the water. Conventional wisdom is that surfers can look a bit like wounded seals from below with flailing arms and legs hanging off a board. That said, there was a shark attack off where I do regularly surf a couple of years ago where the shark bit into a kayak, hard enough to knock the guy out of it. That shark took one bite and did not try again.

As tragic as a death from shark attack is, they are rare but part of the contract one signs knowingly or not when one chooses to go out into or onto the ocean. Same for going into the woods or other wild area.

RIP Ben Kelly.
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