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Local News

Vandenberg AFB Beaches to Close for Several Days During Shark Research

Beaches on the southern portion of Vandenberg Air Force Base will be closed several days due to shark research being conducted in the area.

Vandenberg officials Friday announced that Wall, Surf and Boat House beaches will be closed from Saturday through Thursday under an order issue by Col. Michael Hough, 30th Space Wing commander.

“The beach closures are a precautionary measure because of shark research being conducted just off the Vandenberg coast by the Marine Conservation Science Institute,” Vandenberg officials said in statement issued Friday. 

Minuteman and Brown beaches, located off the northern section of the base and accessible to people with regular base access, will remain open to fishing, however beachgoers are restricted from entering the water.

The beaches will reopen on Oct. 20, Vandenberg officials said.

The research being conducted in the waters off Vandenberg comes after several encounters — including a pair of fatal attacks — off Surf Beach.

Two encounters were reported in 2014, with both kayakers escaping without injuries.

On Oct. 23, 2012, surfer Francisco Javier Solorio Jr., 39, of Orcutt died while surfing at the publicly accessible beach west of Lompoc.

Two years and a day earlier UCSB student Lucas McKaine Ransom, 19, of Romoland was fatally wounded by a shark while boogie boarding in the waters off Surf Beach.

More recently, two shark attacks were reported July 20, the first involving a kayaker off East Beach, south of the wharf, in Santa Barbara, and the second involving a paddle boarder at Seal Rock near Goleta Beach. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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