Investigation Finds Great White Killed Bodyboarder On Christmas Eve

A California man who died while bodyboarding off the coast of California on Christmas Eve was killed by a great white shark, a coroner has determined.

Tomas Abraham Butterfield, 42, suffered bites to the head, chest and shoulder in the Morro Bay attack and died "from complications of multiple penetrating blunt force traumatic injuries," according to a report released Wednesday by the San Luis Obispo County Coroner's Office. The report also notes that a single shark's tooth was found on Butterfield's body near a bite mark with a 16-inch radius.

Among Butterfield's injuries was a crushed inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries blood from the lower body to the heart, the report indicates.

He also likely died "within minutes" of the attack, the coroner found.

The fin of a great white shark, Gansbaai, south Africa

Photo: Getty Images

According to John Ugoretz, environmental program manager with the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s marine study division, shark incidents are extremely rare.

“Since the 1950s, there have been 15 fatalities in the state of California,” Ugoretz said.

Read the full report on the Los Angeles Times.

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