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Rare Shark Attack Puts Catalina Swimmers on Guard

Officials are asking visitors to stay alert after a shark repeatedly bit a teenager's paddleboard about 200 yards offshore.

A rare shark attack has prompted officials to warn visitors to Catalina Island to be on guard for sharks in the area.

The LA County Fire Department is patrolling the Catalina coast today following a sharK attack in which a shark repeatedly bit a teenage girl's paddleboard.

The 15-year-old girl had a close encounter with a shark while paddleboarding off the coast of Santa Catalina Island this weekend, but her board was the only casualty. The girl was with other paddleboarders some 200 yards from shore in a remote area of the island about a mile from the Avalon area when a shark bit
her paddleboard several times Sunday morning.

The girl was not injured, according to a Los Angeles County Fire Department statement. After the attack, the county fire department began spreading the word to everyone who uses the water to use extreme caution around Santa Catalina Island

The shark encounter is an extremely rare occurrence, the Fire Department statement said.  But the department says it will be patrolling the area with lifeguard rescue boats to keep watch for other sharks.

- City News Service

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