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Local News

VAFB Beach Reopened After Fatal Shark Attack

Officials say a three-day closure period yielded no additional shark sightings

Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Surf Beach, closed since Oct. 22 after a fatal shark attack, reopened to the public at 8 a.m. Monday.

Lucas McKaine Ransom, 19, of Romoland, was boogie boarding shortly before 9 a.m. about 100 yards out with a friend when a shark pulled him under the water, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Drew Sugars.

Ransom, a UCSB junior majoring in chemical engineering, was pulled to shore, but he suffered a massive wound to his left leg and died of his injuries on the scene, authorities said.

Air Force Lt. Ann Blodzinski said patrols of the base beaches were increased during the three-day closure period, and that there were no observed or reported shark sightings off of base beaches during that time.

In addition to existing signage identifying no lifeguard on duty and outlining beach rules, she said other signs will be posted at the beaches reading, “Warning: recent shark attack — swim, surf at your own risk.”

Click here for tips from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for reducing the risk of shark attack.

Vandenberg’s Minuteman and Wall Beaches, accessible only to base personnel, remain closed as part of the base’s two-week operational readiness and unit compliance inspections that began Oct. 24.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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