Beach remains closed after 13-year-old boy attacked by shark in Encinitas

Posted at 6:35 AM, Sep 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-30 15:30:32-04

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) -- The 13-year-old attacked by a shark Saturday morning in Encinitas is in serious condition, Rady Children’s Hospital said Sunday afternoon.

The hospital added that the teen is expected to make a full recovery. The announcement came after authorities held a news conference earlier in the morning. 

A GoFundMe started for the boy has, as of Sunday morning, raised nearly $6,500 of its $20,000 goal. 

During the news conference, Larry Giles, Marine Safety Captain for the City of Encinitas, gave no update on the teenager’s condition.

“We have not had any reports of any shark activity since the incident yesterday,” Giles said, adding that it's still unclear what kind of shark was involved in the attack. "We imagine it could be a great white shark but don't know for sure," Giles said before continuing that lots of other species of shark call the area home, so further investigation in necessary. 

The beach will remain closed until 7 a.m. Monday morning. Giles warned people to stay out of the water until the beach reopens, adding that someone reportedly stole signs from the beach in broad daylight Saturday.


The signs cautioned people to stay out of the ocean in the area. As a result of the alleged thefts, lifeguards were forced to order another $800 worth of signs to replace the 20 to 30 that vanished.

The attack was reported Saturday before 7 a.m. at Beacon Beach in the 900 block of Neptune Avenue.

The 13-year-old, who was lobster diving for the first time, was rushed to Rady Children’s Hospital with traumatic injuries.

Lifeguards tell 10News the teen was conscious and talking on the way to the hospital. Dr. Tim Fairbanks, chief of pediatric surgery at Rady, said the boy was in critical condition.

"He was stabilized in our trauma bay. He went to surgery. At the request of the family we will not be releasing details as to the nature of his injury or the treatments that were required."

A large team is said to be treating the 13-year-old. Dr. Fairbanks went on to say they’ve never had a shark bite victim like this in the last 10 years, calling it a “rare injury,."

The coast line remains closed from La Costa Avenue to Swami’s State Beach. Signs are posted to let beach goers know about the closure. No other reports of shark sightings were made in the area Saturday, leaving officials unsure what type of shark attacked the teen.

A man diving nearby said he and his friends heard screams for help before rushing over.

"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 Chad 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."