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Boy, 13, hospitalized with 'traumatic injuries' after shark attack

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Posted at 11:35 AM, Sep 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-02 15:15:09-04

ENCINITAS, CA (CNN) - A 13-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital early Saturday morning after he was bitten by a shark while lobster diving at a California beach.

Officials say the boy sustained traumatic injuries to his upper torso. His condition is unknown.

The 13-year-old was one of several people in the water diving for lobsters on the opening day of the lobster season, according to Encinitas lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles.

Three good Samaritans heard the boy scream for help after the attack and helped bring him to shore on a kayak.

“Once we get him on the kayak, we could really see what happened, and his whole clavicle is ripped open. You could see the ball and socket joint – everything. So, we throw him up on there. We’re telling him he’s going to be OK, that it’s going to be all right,” said Chad Hammel, one of the people who helped the boy.

Lifeguards had been on duty due to two nearby events, and Giles said the response to the attack was “very short.”

Witnesses say the boy was conscious and talking to bystanders while being treated at the beach and on his way to the hospital.

"Our hearts and thoughts are with the victim and his family during this time," said Fire Chief Mike Stein at a news conference.

No further shark activity has taken place since the incident, according to city officials.

Authorities have closed the area between Pompano Beach and Swami’s Beach for at least 48 hours. A surf competition scheduled near the site was postponed.

Officials say they are working to determine what species of shark was involved in the attack.

Copyright 2018 OnScene.TV via CNN. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.