ENCINITAS (CNS) - The teenage boy who was seriously injured Saturday when he was bitten by a shark off the Encinitas shoreline has seen his condition improve today, a spokesman for Rady Children's Hospital said.
And the beaches at Encinitas remained closed from Swami's Beach north to La Costa Avenue in Encinitas, despite souvenir hunters who stole 20-30 shark signs.
“The boy's condition is now listed as serious, as of Sunday,” Carlos Delgado, the hospital's media relations officer, said in an email statement. “The boy's parents want to inform family, friends and the entire community that he is expected to make a full recovery.”
The boy, whose name has not been released, was in left in critical condition after he was bitten by a shark while diving for lobster on the first day of the season. The attack was at about 7 a.m. Saturday at Beacon's Beach, off Neptune Avenue near Leucadia Boulevard.
The boy, 13, had to be airlifted to Rady Children's Hospital.
Witness Chad Hammel told Fox 5 he was with a group of friends diving for lobster when he heard the teen screaming.
“His whole clavicle was ripped open,” Hammel told the news station. “We told him he's going to be okay, he's going to be alright -- we got help. I yelled at everyone to get out of the water.”
Dr. Tim Fairbanks, director of pediatric surgery at Rady, told reporters during a news conference Saturday that the boy was stabilized and taken into surgery.
“By the request of the family, we will not be releasing details as to the nature of his injuries or the treatments that were required,” Fairbanks said.
Meanwhile, Encinitas officials closed the water where the attack took place through Monday morning. But thieves stole 20 to 30 shark warning signs from the beach, Encinitas lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles told reporters in a news conference Sunday morning.
A unified command including officials with California State Parks, California Fish and Game, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, the city of Solana Beach and the city of Carlsbad were working with a marine scientist to determine the type of shark that caused the injury.
There have been no reports of shark activity since the initial attack.