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.

Gabe McKenna, public safety superintendent with California State Parks, said a person flagged down a lifeguard patrolling the area to report the attack.

The water a mile south and a mile north of the attack will be closed for five days. It will not reopen until Thursday, May 14.

Officials are urging people to avoid the area. Signs have been posted at beach entrances and access points warning beachgoers about the attack.

Santa Cruz County closed all of its parks and beaches and banned surfing as part of the shelter-in-place order put in place to stem the coronavirus pandemic. But it reopened them and allowed surfing again in mid-April.

Shark attacks are very rare. According to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum, which tracks shark attacks, there were just 64 unprovoked attacks on humans worldwide in 2019. Three occurred in California.

In March, a shark bit the board of a paddle boarder near Capitola, narrowly missing him, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel contributed reporting. 

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