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Friday, October 22, 2010
Fatal shark attack in Santa Barbara

By Jon Coen
ESPN Action Sports

Santa Barbara County beaches were the site of a fatal shark attack on a bodyboarder today.

It has been confirmed that a bodyboarder was the victim of a fatal shark attack at the break known as "Surf Beach," in Santa Barbara County this morning. The Santa Barbara County Coroner was still down at the beach this afternoon.

According to information released by Vandenberg Air Force Base, which has jurisdiction over this area, three beaches -- Surf Beach, Wall and Minuteman have been closed for 72 hours. The name of the victim has not been released, but the Santa Maria Times is reporting it was a 20-year-old Orange County man who is a student at UC Santa Barbara.

Vendenburg Deputy Chief of Public Affairs, Ann Blodzinkski, told ESPN Surfing that the sharks that regularly swim these waters are Great Whites. She added that weather today was average for this time of year, slightly cloudy and 67 degrees.

The Times also reports that a shark bit a surfer's board at this beach in September 2008. Sharks generally migrate closer to the California Coast September through November.