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Encinitas Beach to Reopen After Weekend Shark Attack

An Encinitas beach is expected to reopen Monday after 48 hours without a sighting of the shark that attacked a teenage boy over the weekend. 

Keane Hayes, 13 of Encinitas, was lobster fishing when he was bitten by the shark in the ear, shoulder and back, around 6:55 a.m. on Saturday.

He was taken by helicopter to Rady Children’s Hospital in La Jolla where he remains in serious condition. The hospital said Hayes was expected to make a full recovery.  

Witnesses described hearing screams from the boy before seeing a pool of blood in the water, where about 30 people were lobster fishing in about 9 feet of water off Beacon’s Beach.

Chad Hammel realized what was happening when he heard Hayes yell, “I got bit.”

“I paddled to him,” he said. “And there was a big wake of blood behind him. His entire back was open. The shark hit him in the clavicle. The shark’s top teeth got him in his cheek.”

Two other men also helped with the rescue before lifeguards took over on shore. 

Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab Director Chris Lowe said the quick response from first responders likely helped save the teen’s life. 

“Even a small bite from a big shark can do a lot of damage. But, having good first responders nearby has been the difference between people living and not,” Lowe said.

His team is using new techniques to help Encinitas lifeguards identify what type of shark bit Hayes. 

“We’re working very closely with the Encinitas lifeguards to try and sort out what species was involved, the size of the shark and more about the behaviors so we can better advise the public,” Lowe said. 

So far, the animal has only been described as 11 feet long.

The team is taking swabs of Hayes’ wetsuit to identify DNA from the shark. If the shark is spotted again, the water can also be tested for DNA, Lowe said. 

“We hope to have some DNA evidence back in the next week that might help us confirm what kind of species it is,” he said. 

The water from Ponto Beach in Carlsbad to Swamis in Encinitas was closed for 48 hours but expected to reopen at 7 a.m. on Monday.

After the attack, the beach was full of signs saying the area was closed to swimmers lifeguards were on wave runners actively warning people to stay out of the water. Encinitas Lifeguards said people were stealing the signs and they had to order about $800 worth of replacements. 

Despite the closure, surfers were seen in the water at Swami’s Beach Sunday morning.   

The shark has not been seen since the attack, though there were non-threatening sharks in the water, Giles said at a 4 p.m. news conference Saturday. 

The Carlsbad Police Department is using a drone to check to look for any sharks that may be a threat and Encinitas Lifeguards are scanning the waters on jet skis. 

Other agencies helping with the investigation are California State Park Lifeguards, Solana Beach Lifeguards, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Encinitas and Carlsbad fire departments and the U.S. Coast Guard is aware of the incident. 

In April 2017, a woman was attacked by a shark in the waters off San Onofre State Beach near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The last time a shark attack has been deadly in San Diego County was in Solana Beach in 2008. 

A Go Fund Me page has been created to help with Hayes medical bills. 

Source: NBC San Diego

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