Boy hospitalized after shark bite off Catalina Island

Local news

A child was airlifted to a hospital after being bitten by a shark while kayaking in the waters off Catalina Island on Wednesday morning.

Emergency crews responded to a medical emergency around 7 a.m. at Parson’s Landing, where they found the kayaker with a hand injury, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguards Division.

The victim, described only as a juvenile, was airlifted to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, L.A. County Fire Department Supervisor Melanie Flores told KTLA.

His injuries are not life-threatening, according to the Boy Scouts of America, which confirmed the victim was a camp youth participant.

“Our onsite doctor and paramedic immediately provided first aid and called in additional medical personnel who transported the individual to a hospital,” a statement from the youth organization said. “Our thoughts are with this young man and his family, and we will continue to support them in any way we can.”

Authorities did not release further details about the juvenile. He is undergoing surgery and was last reported to be in stable condition, the Fire Department’s news release stated.

According to officials, the juvenile was kayaking with his father near Parson’s Landing when their boat was bumped. He reached a hand into the water and at that point was apparently bitten by a shark of unknown type and size.

His father was not hurt.

A 1-mile stretch of ocean was cleared in both directions where the shark encounter took place; it will be closed for at least 24 hours, which is the Fire Department’s policy.

Adjacent lifeguard agencies have been notified of the incident, as were the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the United States Coast Guard.

An expert from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography has also been called in to help identify the size and type of the shark.

Additional details about the incident were not immediately released.

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