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10/22/2010 Lucas McKaine Ransom ( California ) *** Fatal ***

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:18 pm
by alb
Base officials have confirmed to KEY News that a person has died of an apparent shark attack at Surf Beach.

Deadly Shark Attack On Local Beach

Vandenberg - New information is emerging regarding a shark attack that occured this morning at a beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Base officials have confirmed to KEY News that a person has died of an apparent shark attack at Surf Beach.

Vandenberg Public Information Officer Jeremy Eggers says the Santa Barbara County coroner's office is now investigating. Eggers would not say any more about the incident until the coroner releases details. He would not confirm whether the victim was a local student who was "boogie boarding", or someone affiliated with the base.

A source familar with the incident tells KEY News the victim "had his leg bitten off and lost too much blood." The coroner has not confirmed this account. A Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Public Information Officer is expected to release more information shortly.

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.

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 occured 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 KEY News 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, afterall." ... 37773.html

Re: 10/22/2010 Lucas McKaine Ransom ( California ) *** Fatal

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:30 pm
by alb
Shark kills 20-year-old man off beach on Vandenberg Air Force BaseBy Michael Martinez, CNN

The California military base closes all three of its beaches after attack
Coroner is on the scene of the shark attack

Site of attack is the only military base beach that's open to public
(CNN) -- A shark attack Friday killed a 20-year-old man off a beach on Vandenberg Air Force Base, said the Santa Barbara County, California, Fire Department.

Surf Beach is one of three that sits on the coastal air base, and the military closed all three beaches at 9:46 a.m. Pacific (12:46 p.m. ET), shortly after the shark attack, an air base spokesman said.

The three beaches will remain closed for 72 hours, the spokesman said.

Surf Beach is open to the public, but the other two -- Wall and Minuteman Beaches -- are open to base personnel only, the spokesman said.

A coroner was on the scene about noon Pacific, the spokesman said. ... rk.attack/

Re: 10/22/2010 Lucas McKaine Ransom ( California ) *** Fatal

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:29 pm
by alb
Surf Beach shark attack victim had leg bitten off, sheriff says

The victim of Friday morning's fatal shark attack at Surf Beach in northern Santa Barbara County was a 20-year-old UC Santa Barbara student who was body boarding when the shark bit his leg off, County Sheriff Bill Brown reportedly told The Lompoc Record.

The newspaper quoted Brown as saying the incident occurred between 9 and 9:30 a.m., when the 20-year-old was in the water with a friend.

[Updated at 1:55 p.m: Vandenburg Air Force Base issued a statement saying that the victim was boogie boarding.]

Shark sightings reportedly are common off Surf Beach.

"Surfers like the area, especially on a day like today when the break is head high and smooth. But they say they see sharks," Clay Garland, head ranger at Jalama Beach, told the Times.

That's not the case at Jalama, about an hour south, said Garland, a Santa Barbara County Parks employee who sends crews to Surf Beach to pick up trash and do maintenance. "In the 12 years I've been here, there's only been two sightings."

Garland guessed that the shark off Surf Beach saw the body boarder and thought he was a seal. “They follow the food chain and we’re in their domain,” he said.

Surf Beach is owned by Vandenberg Air Force Base but is publicly accessible from Highway 246, Garland said.

Details of Friday's attack remained sketchy. A spokeswoman for Vandenberg Air Force Base told The Times that Santa Barbara County coroner's investigators were on the beach and that the investigation was being handled by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. Authorities closed Surf Beach and Wall and Minuteman beaches for 72 hours because of the attack.
The Lompoc Record said that in 2008, a shark took a bite out of a surfer's board at Surf Beach, prompting officials to temporarily close that section of coastline. ... .A.+Now%29

Re: 10/22/2010 Lucas McKaine Ransom ( California ) *** Fatal

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:50 pm
by alb
Friend: Waves turned red after fatal shark attack
By GILLIAN FLACCUS , 10.22.10, 09:33 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES -- The victim of a fatal shark attack at a Central California beach cried out to his friend for help as the shark flashed out of the water, bit into his leg and pulled him under in a tide of red blood, the friend said Friday.

Matthew Garcia was two feet away from his friend, 19-year-old Lucas Ransom, when the shark attacked, he said. The whole incident lasted seconds.

"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."

As huge waves broke over his head, Garcia tried to find his friend in the surf but couldn't. He decided to get help, but turned around again as he was swimming to shore and saw Ransom's red bodyboard pop up. Garcia swam to his friend and did chest compressions as he brought him to shore.

Ransom already appeared dead and his leg was mauled, 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."

The University of California, Santa Barbara, junior had a severe wound to his left leg and died a short time later at Surf Beach, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. The beach, 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles, is on the property of Vandenberg Air Force Base but is open to the public.

Sheriff's deputies patrolled the coastline to search for Ransom's missing leg but were only able to recover the boogie board, which had a 1-foot segment on the side bitten off.

Federal and state Fish and Game officials were working to identify the type of shark that attacked Ransom.

The ocean was calm and beautiful before the attack, with large wave sets that the friends had been tracking all week as they moved down the West Coast from Alaska, Garcia said.

The shark, which breached the water on its side, appeared about 18 feet long, Garcia said.

"There was no sign, there was nothing. It was all very fast, very stealth," said Garcia, 20.

The pair, best friends since they were on the water polo and swim teams together at Perris High School in Riverside County, had joked the night before about the chances they would be attacked by a shark, Garcia said. It was the first time either had been to that particular beach and they planned to surf until about 11 a.m. and then go to class, he said.

"We were just in perfect water, the waves were perfect, great barrels. It was picture-perfect conditions," he said. "You hear a surfer say, 'Oh, perfect waves' - well, the waves do not get any better than they were today."

Ransom, who was from Romoland in Riverside County, was a junior at UCSB majoring in chemical engineering, but was in the process of changing his major to chemistry because he wanted to be a pharmacist, said his mother, Candace Ransom.

He had been home last weekend but spent most of the time studying for midterm exams, she said.

She last spoke to her son Friday morning, when he told her he was going to surf sets of 8- to 10-foot waves at a beach that was new to him. His mother encouraged him not to go in the water, she told the AP.

Surf websites reported that the waves were 6 to 8 feet high at Surf Beach on Friday. The scientific standard is to measure the height from the back of the wave while some surfers like to measure the face of the wave

"I said, 'Honey, if they're so pretty why don't you just sit and watch them. You're at a place you've never been to before,'" Candace Ransom said. "He said, Mom, don't worry, I'll be fine and I'll call you when I finish up."

Ransom's parents said their son was an avid swimmer and was on his high school's water polo and swim teams, where he won titles in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle and relays and he ran marathons with his mother. He also worked as a lifeguard at a community swimming pool in Murietta.

It was there, at age 16, that Ransom and two other lifeguards rescued a young boy in 2007 after spotting him floating on the water. He had been certified as a lifeguard just five months before and received an award from the local city council.

"He was a son that every mother would be proud to have as a son," his mother said. "He had no fear. He did what he loved the most and he couldn't have left the world in a better place than where he was at."

Authorities have issued several warnings this year after great white shark sightings up and down the California coast.

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, divers and surfers sharing the waters has soared.

The last shark attack on Surf Beach was in 2008, when what was believed to be a great white shark bit a surfer's board. The surfer was not harmed.

The last fatal attack in California was that same year, when triathlete David Martin, 66, bled to death after a great white shark bit his legs about 150 yards off of a San Diego County beach.

Randy Fry, 50, died from a great white attack in 2004 while diving off the coast of Mendocino, north of San Francisco Bay.

In 2003, a great white shark killed Deborah Franzman, 50, as she swam at Avila Beach, about 30 miles north of Vandenberg. ... 38470.html

Re: 10/22/2010 Lucas McKaine Ransom ( California ) *** Fatal

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:16 am
by alb
Shark Attack Santa Barbara Beach 19-yr-old Boogie Boarder Killed by Shark
Shark Attack Santa Barbara Beach 19-yr-old Boogie Boarder Killed by Shark
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Re: 10/22/2010 Lucas McKaine Ransom ( California ) *** Fatal

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:14 pm
by alb
lucas_ransom.JPG (13.1 KiB) Viewed 30161 times
lucas_ransom2.JPG (14.07 KiB) Viewed 30161 times

Re: 10/22/2010 Lucas McKaine Ransom ( California ) *** Fatal

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:30 am
by alb
One year later, shark attack victim shares his story

Last October, Lucas Ransom, a 19-year-old UC Santa Barbara student from Riverside County, was bodyboarding with his friend Matthew Garcia at Surf Beach on Vandenberg Air Force Base when an estimated 18-foot shark attacked him and pulled him under water, mauling his leg. Once on the beach, Ransom died of blood loss. After losing his friend while in his arms, it took Garcia nine months to go back in the ocean. And now, nearly a year since the incident, Garcia is finally comfortable enough to share this harrowing tale. This is his account of the tragic event.

The day was no ordinary day. At least, it just appears that way in my mind. While the moon glowed red and shined into my balcony window, Lucas woke me up and asked me if we were still going to surf. All his stuff was already at the door, ready to go. I told him 'yes' and quickly gathered my gear and we headed out the door.

Before we could finish loading our gear Lucas noticed a black kitten following him. He made a little call to the cat and it came to him. He held the kitten in his hands and gave it a hug. Then the feline quickly disappeared into the darkness. We got on the road and cranked up some music to help pump us up for the session ahead.

We pulled up to the beach and just sat in awe. The sun had been up for about a half an hour and all we could see was massive, blue barrels up and down the entire beach. The only people around were awaiting the next train. We suited up and headed down to the beach to stretch and say a prayer before we paddled out.

Before I could even duckdive under the first wave, Lucas was already out in the lineup telling me to catch up. A huge set came in before I made it out and Luke caught the first wave of the day. He made faces at me as he zoomed by me into a rather large barrel. At this point I had finally stroked out the back and was looking for Luke. He paddled over to me with the largest smile and said, 'Dude, I could fit a Volkswagen in that barrel!"

This was the first time I had ever surfed here so I was trying to get everything dialed in before I started dropping in on these monsters. Another set came and I backed out of a few closeouts, but Lucas kept charging and didn't seem to mind them. By this point about 35 minutes had passed and Lucas was four barrels deep. Me? None.

The waves seemed to settle down and we both just waited next to each other for the next set. We were talking about how it seemed we were in a different country since there were so many barrels and no people around. Just then, I looked out to the horizon and told Lucas a set was coming. At this point, my life would change forever.

My vision went into slow motion and my brain began processing information faster than it had ever done before. My vision was clear, sounds and color were more vivid, and everything seemed like an HD movie being recorded. I heard something break the surface behind me and I glance over to my right. I see the side of a massive fish and within nano-seconds realized it was a white shark. The tail never breached the surface but I could see the gills, pectoral fin and the entire length of the body, minus the tail fin, pass me by. I remember thinking to myself, 'This thing is like three of my surfboard.' Then I heard the bones crunch.

I looked up at Lucas and he was looking at me. Everything paused for a split-second as if the shark had given us a chance to say our goodbyes. I had nothing to say but Lucas simply said, 'Help me, dude!' I looked into his eyes one last time and then he disappeared in a cloud of red.

To make matters worse, that set had no intention of slowing down. It was the biggest set of the day and the waves were breaking out further than where I was. Lucas surfaced about 20 yards from my location and got sucked over the falls of a wave entirely made up of his blood. He disappeared again and I was staring at a mountain of red/white water hurling towards me. I turned around, grasped my board tightly and let the water hit me. After I popped up from the washing machine, I looked around for any sign of Lucas and called out his name. I started to paddle in yelling at two guys on the beach to get help. All the while, I was still looking for any sign of my friend.

I was about 50 yards from shore when I see his bodyboard explode out of the water about 25 yards from me. I yelled to Lucas to swim to me, which he promptly did by taking one last big stroke. His body just dropped in the water and I saw him floating there. I instantly paddled to him at a super-human speed. I threw my board aside and grab him. I flipped him to his back and watched his face turn pale and his mouth start to foam. Then I hugged him with one arm, gave him chest compressions with the other and propped his head up with my shoulder.

I started breaststroke kicking us back to shore faster than an Olympian could doing the full stroke. I reached the beach in a matter of seconds and one of the men on shore rushed over to help me pull him out. I looked down and saw the marrow of Lucas' femur. The sight of his dismembered body will forever be stained in my mind. We dragged him up the beach and I proceeded to give him CPR for twenty minutes. At that point, I realized Lucas left us and I looked down the beach to the water and noticed not a drop of blood touched beautiful white sand.

After Lucas' paddle out I didn't touch the water for about nine months. There were too many sleepless nights to count and I never expected them to end. For a while, the site of water or the smell of salty air triggered Vietnam-like flashbacks. The worst part was that I live a block from the beach and could hear waves crashing from my bedroom window. I have recently started surfing again but I can't help but be overwhelmed with anxiety whenever I paddle out. Unless, of course, I'm on a wave because that's the only time that everything is gravy.