Written By @pistolwhippedya
Around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Ben Kelly, 26, was killed in a shark attack at a Northern California beach.
According to CNN, California State Parks announced in a news release, that Kelly was surfing off Manresa State Beach on the northern end of Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz County when he was attacked by an “unknown shark species.”
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene and later identified by the Santa Cruz County Coroner.
The state beach has since been closed. Signs were posted to inform beachgoers of the attack that occurred within 100 yards offshore. “Following State Parks protocol, the water one mile south and north of the incident location will be closed,” State Parks announced.
Deputies of the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s office notified the family of Kelly’s death. The State Park “expressed its deepest sympathy.”
Ben Kelly was well known within the Santa Cruz surfing community. He owned Ben Kelly Surfboards, a California surf shop. The shop’s Instagram page has received numerous tributes in his honor.
According to CNN, local officials have closed the beach every day between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. “With the exception of water sports, Manresa State Beach is fully closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, meaning there is no public access during this time,” state parks said.
Eric Mailander told local news KRON-TV, he has observed dozens of great white sharks swimming near the shoreline in recent days through the use of his drone, Mailander counted 15 sharks while out on his boat that Saturday morning.
Kelly has been described “as a true legend and sweetest man.” One user posted that “he showed love to everyone and is loved by many.”
The beach will reopen on May 14, 2020.