Waters off Santa Catalina Island in southern California were closed on Wednesday after a participant in the Boy Scouts youth camp was injured during an encounter with a shark.
The kayaker, whose age was not immediately available, was airlifted to a hospital for surgery after being bitten in the hand near the island off the southern California coast . The encounter was reported at 7:15 a.m., according to Los Angeles County Fire Department rescuers.
The victim was part of a Boy Scout youth camp, Boy Scouts of America Lee Harrison said in response to an NBCLA email. The on-site camp medic and paramedic provided assistance after the bite near Emerald Bay, Harrison said.
All boating activities at the camp have been canceled and no danger was detected during a morning check of the waters off Catalina Island, Harrison added.
The victim was kayaking with a family member when she was struck by what she believes to be a shark, firefighters said.
“During the encounter, the patient put his hand in the water and was bitten by the animal,” LA County said.
Details on the size and type of shark were not available.
The victim had stable vital signs, rescuers said. But due to the nature of the injury and the remoteness, the person was taken by helicopter to hospital.
Rescuers cleaned up and closed the ocean for a mile in each direction of the incident for at least 24 hours, in accordance with LACFD policy.
Rescuers also enlisted the help of a shark expert from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to identify the size and type of the shark, according to the tweet.
Several types of sharks can be found in the waters off Southern California. On Saturday, a six-foot great white shark bit a San Francisco man in the leg while swimming near Gray Whale Cove State Beach. He was treated and released from the hospital.