Santa Barbara beaches reopen after shark scare

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Three Santa Barbara County beaches have reopened after a pair of encounters between sharks and people last week.

A surfer suffered injuries to his knee and cuts to his hands and other body parts when he was attacked by a great white shark off of Wall Beach, on Vandenberg Air Force Base. Experts say the shark was 8 to 10 feet long. That attack prompted Vandenburg officials to close Wall, Surf and Minuteman beaches for three days. All are now open.vandembergbeach

On Friday, three kayakers said they were attacked by 16-18 foot great white near Point Conception, north of Santa Barbara. One of the kayakers was reportedly knocked into the air and the kayak was damaged, prompting the group to send a mayday call for help. None of the kayakers was seriously injured.

In Australia, a surfer lost both his hands when he was attacked by a great white last week.

The spate of shark attacks is probably coincidental. About 50 to 100 shark attacks are typically reported worldwide – with fewer than a dozen deaths per year. Florida is by far the U.S. leader for shark attacks.