A shark attacked a 13-year-old boy early Saturday near Beacon's Beach in Encinitas, leaving him with traumatic injuries to his upper torso, authorities said.
According to NBC San Diego, the boy suffered "serious injuries" to his ear and shoulder and was immediately flown to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.
The three rescuers were identified only as an off-duty police officer from nearby Oceanside, an off-duty state lifeguard and a friend who were also diving for lobsters. He was conscious and talking, witnesses said.
Witnesses estimated the shark was about 11-feet long, but the type of shark was not known, Encinitas Lifeguard Captain Larry Giles said.
"I paddled to him and there was a big wake of blood behind him". Hammel said he heard screaming and then realized the boy was yelling, "I got bit!" "He needed help, he just kept yelling". "And his whole clavicle's ripped open; you could see the ball and socket joint and everything".
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As the group paddled to shore, Hammel turned around to a terrifying sight: "Once we threw him up on the kayak and started heading in, that's when I looked back, and the shark was behind the kayak".
The boy was in critical condition but expected to survive. The victim was then life-flighted to Rady Children's Hospital for treatment.
At around 7 a.m. the San Diego County Sheriff's Department received a call for assistance from lifeguards at Beacon's Beach.
"Our hearts and prayers and thoughts are with the young boy who's being treated right now and his family", said Encinitas Fire Chief Mike Stein. There were several divers offshore because it was the first day of lobster season, said Giles.
Officials shut down beach access from Ponto Beach in Casablad to Swami's in Ecinitas for 48 hours for investigation and safety purposes.