Story Updated: Oct 22, 2010 at 4:18 PM PDT
Vandenberg – “Lucas was a nice guy, he loved life.” That is how a fellow student at UCSB is remembering Lucas McKaine Ransom, who was attacked and killed by a shark while “boogie boarding” at a beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Officials say the 19 year old Ransom, of Romoland in Riverside County, died after a shark pulled him off his board about 100 yards from shore. Ransom suffered a massive wound to his left leg. The attack happened just before 9:00 a.m.
An eyewitness at the scene called the KEY newsroom around 9:20 a.m. saying the victim “had his leg bitten off and lost too much blood.” That source also told KEY News the victim was pulled to shore by a friend, but efforts to stop the bleeding were unsuccessful.
KEY News has obtained photos of the board, which shows a large bite in the side. You can see a full report tonight at 5, 6, and 11pm.
Ransom was a junior majoring in Chemical Engineering.
Officials at Vandenberg have closed Surf, Wall, and Minuteman beaches as a result. The beaches will be closed for a 72 hour period.
A portion of Surf Beach is accessible to the public. Warning signs are also being posted at County beaches in the Jalama and Guadalupe area.
Federal and State Fish and Game officials are working to identify the type of shark which was described as being 14 to 20 feet in length.
The last known attack at Surf Beach took place back in September of 2008. A surfer reported having his board bitten by a shark. A fatal shark attack occurred at Avila Beach in 2003 killing Nipomo resident Dorborah Franzman. Officials confirm that attack was by a Great White shark.
One resident who spoke to me at the beach this morning said he has never spotted a shark in the waters off Surf Beach, but reminded ocean lovers “it is the shark’s territory, after all.”