MORRO BAY, Calif. (AP) — A surfer was killed in an apparent shark attack on Christmas Eve off the central coast of California, authorities said.
The male surfer was pulled from the water north of the famous Morro Rock around 10:45 a.m., Morro Bay police said on Twitter. He was not responsive after being brought to land.
The surfer’s identity was not immediately released and officials have ordered people to stay out of the water for 24 hours.
Morro Bay Harbor Director Eric Endersby told The San Luis Obispo Tribune that a female surfer nearby saw him face-down and got him out of the water. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Endersby said the attack appears to have been recent based on the condition of the surfer’s body. Crews will patrol the area to look for the shark.
“Obviously, it’s tragic and we’re all sad, especially given the time this occurred,” Endersby told the newspaper. “It’s tragic this happened. We’re all sad and our condolences go out to the families.”
Morro Bay is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.