A teenage boy was attacked by a shark on Wednesday while kayaking near Catalina Island, southwest of Los Angeles, officials said, adding that he was hospitalized.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department said in a statement the incident was reported around 7:15 a.m. and involved a 15-year-old boy who sustained a injury to his hand.
“The patient and their father were kayaking near Parson’s Landing when their boat was bumped by what is believed to be a shark of unknown size and type,” the department said.
“During the encounter, the patient reached their hand into the water and was bit by the animal.”
The boy was airlifted to a local hospital for surgery to his hand and is reported to be in a stable condition, lifeguards said. The father was not injured.
Officials cleared and closed the island’s beach a mile in each direction from the center of the attack. The closure will remain in place for at least 24 hours, the department said.
The teenager was attending a Boy Scouts camp and was participating in a youth camp activity at the time of the attack, ABC News reported.
“Our camp staff quickly removed all participants from the water following this incident, and we have canceled all water activities,” the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement.
“We provide a chase boat, which goes out before every water activity that takes place outside of Emerald Bay to identify potential weather and wildlife hazards and follows each group of participants back to shore,” the group added. “No hazards were spotted this morning.”
Multiple shark attacks have been reported in the United States and in the Golden State in recent days.
The animal, described by the man as a 6-to-8-foot great white shark, bit the man’s leg around 9:15 a.m. near Grey Whale Cove State Beach in San Mateo County.
He was able to swim to the shore where he was treated with “advanced life support measures,” before being taken to a local trauma center in serious condition.
According to National Geographic, about 93 percent of all shark attacks that occurred from 1580 to 2010 were on males.