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Surfer dies after 'Jaws' attack by giant shark

THIS is the bite a 4.8m great white shark took out of a surf board in a fatal attack on a surfer.

Francisco Javier Solorio Jr (39) was bitten in the upper torso in the waters off Surf Beach near Santa Barbara, California. He died at the scene.

"His friend ended up swimming over and pulling him from the water where he received first aid," police sergeant Mark A Williams said.

Ralph Collier, of the Shark Research Committee, examined the body of Solorio before deducing the size of the shark that made the attack.

Surf Beach is near Vandenberg Air Force Base. All beaches on the base's coastline were closed for at least 72 hours after the attack as a precaution.



Fatal

The beach, about 240km northwest of Los Angeles, was also the site of another fatal attack in October 2010.

Lucas Ransom, a 19-year-old student at the University of California, died when a shark almost severed his leg.

Great white sharks are found from tropical to polar regions and are not uncommon up and down the California coast.

However, they do not attack humans as a rule, experts said.

"If white sharks were going to target humans for prey, I would never talk to any survivors," Collier said.

"Because there's no way you or I could ever survive an attack by a 17ft shark that weighs 4,000 pounds."

Great white sharks use smell, vision and taste to identify objects in the water. It is likely that the shark that bit Solorio "struck out at this shape assuming it was a natural prey," Collier said.

There have been nearly 100 shark attacks in California since the 1920s, including a dozen that were fatal, according to the California Department of Fish and Game.

But attacks have remained relatively rare, even as the population of swimmers and surfers has soared.

An average of 65 shark attacks happen each year around the world that typically result in two or three deaths, according to the Pew Environment Group.

hnews@herald.ie


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