Boy Scouts Youth Camp Kayaker Hospitalized After Shark Bite Off Catalina Island

The kayaker suffered a bite on the hand during a Boy Scouts youth camp activity, but the injury is not considered life-threatening.

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Waters off Southern California's Santa Catalina Island were closed Wednesday after a Boy Scouts youth camp participant was injured in a shark encounter.

The kayaker, his age was not immediately avaialble, was airlifted to a hospital for surgery after being bitten on a hand near the island off the coast of Southern California. The encounter was reported at 7:15 a.m., according to lifeguards with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The victim was part of a Boy Scouts youth camp, Lee Harrison, of the Boy Scouts of America, said in response to an email from NBCLA. The camp's on-site doctor and paramedic provided aid after the bite near Emerald Bay, Harrison said.

All camp water activities were canceled, and no hazards were spotted during a morning check of the waters off Catalina Island, Harrison added.

The victim was kayaking with a family member when they were bumped by what they believe to be a shark, the fire department said.

"During the encounter, the patient reached their hand into the water and was bit by the animal," LA County


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Details about the size and type of shark were not available.

The victim had stable vital signs, lifeguards said. But due to the nature of the injury and remote location, the person was taken by helicopter to a hospital.

Lifeguards cleared and closed the ocean one mile in each direction of the incident for at least 24 hours, per LACFD policy.

Lifeguards also requested the assistance 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 on the leg as he swam near Gray Whale Cove State Beach. He was treated and released from the hospital.

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