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Deadly shark attack: Surfer fatally bitten off in the leg, dies

Ransom and his friend Matthew Garcia were body-surfing in the surf line about 100 metres off Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base, when a shark suddenly pulled the former underwater,

A Bodyboarder surfed to his death Friday off the coast of central California after a shark pulled him underwater and bit off his left leg, according to multiple tabloid reports, citing local official.

The 19-year-old victim, identified as Lucas McKaine Ransom, was boogie-boarding with a friend in the waters off the coast of Vandenberg Air Force Base Friday when the shark attack happened, the officials said.

Fatal shark attack
According to the Associated Press, Ransom and his friend Matthew Garcia were body-surfing in the surf line about 100 metres off Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base, when a shark suddenly pulled the former underwater, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

A student of University of California, Ransom "was boogie boarding on the break line about 100 yards off the beach with his friend when a shark suddenly pulled Ransom under the water," said the statement.

Following the fatal shark attack, authorities closed down three beaches, reports the AP. Surf, Wall and Minutemen beaches in Central California will stay closed for 72 hours as a precaution, a spokesman for the base said.

Died from massive wounds to a leg
The shark believed to be up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) long inflicted a "massive wound" on Ransom’s leg and pulled him under in a cloud of blood.

"When the shark hit him, he just said, 'Help me, dude!' He knew what was going on," Garcia told the AP. "It was really fast. You just saw a red wave and this water is blue — as blue as it could ever be — and it was just red, the whole wave."

Garcia, who was surfing two feet away from his friend, rushed to his friend when he heard his desperate cry for help, but he couldn’t find Ransom as huge waves broke over his head.

Friend tried to revive the victim
With the help of shore guards, Garcia brought his friend to shore and did chest compressions, but unfortunately, it was too late to stop him bleeding to death.

Ransom was fatally bitten off and already appeared dead, he said.

"He was just floating in the water. I flipped him over on his back and underhooked his arms. I was pressing on his chest and doing rescue breathing in the water," Garcia said. "He was just kind of lifeless, just dead weight."

Following the fatal shark attack, authorities closed down three beaches, reports the AP. Surf, Wall and Minutemen beaches in Central California will stay closed for 72 hours as a precaution, a spokesman for the base said.

Fatal shark attacks in the PAST
Shark attacks are extremely rare in Surf Beach. The last shark attack in the region was in 2008, when what was believed to be a great white creature bit a surfer's board but he was not harmed.

The last fatal attack in California was also in 2008, when David Martin, 66, died after a great white shark bit his legs about 150 yards off of a San Diego County beach.

Randy Fry, 50, died after a great white creature attacked him in 2004 while he was diving off the coast of Mendocino, north of San Francisco Bay.

In 2003, a great white shark killed 50-year-old Deborah Franzman, as she swam at Avila Beach, about 30 miles north of Vandenberg.