For Immediate Release: 5/14/2020

DNA Analysis Shows Great White Shark Attacked Male Surfer at Manresa State Beach

Contact: Newsroom

California State Parks, the California Department Fish and Wildlife  (CDFW) and Long Beach State University’s (CSULB) Shark Lab announced today that a white shark, commonly referred to as a great white shark or its scientific name of Carcharodon carcharias, fatally attacked the 26-year old male surfer on Saturday, May 9, at Manresa State Beach.

Forensic analysis of DNA evidence obtained from the surfer’s wetsuit and surfboard demonstrated that a white shark attacked the surfer. CDFW forensics scientists and Dr. Chris Lowe, director of CSULB’s Shark Lab, estimated the shark’s length between 10-12 feet. CDFW tested the impacted property of the victim in their forensic lab in Sacramento and determined the species of shark.

The attack occurred at around 1:30 p.m. on May 9 at about 100 yards off the state beach shoreline about a mile south of the main entrance. The victim was pronounced dead on scene.

There have been no shark attacks on a human last year at any of the state beaches in Santa Cruz County.

Following State Parks protocol, the water one mile south and north of the incident location was closed for five days and reopened Thursday, May 14, 2020. Warning signs were posted on access points and beach entrances within a one-mile radius of the incident.




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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.