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Shark attack leaves California surfer dead on Christmas Eve

A shark attack off State Parks Beach in Morro Bay on Christmas Eve left a surfer dead, authorities said Friday.

Around 10:45 a.m., an injured male surfer was pulled from the water north of Atascadero Road after an apparent shark attack.

The surfer was unresponsive laying on the beach when paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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The surfer’s identity was not immediately released and officials ordered people to stay out of the water for 24 hours.

Morro Bay Harbor Director Eric Endersby told The San Luis Obispo Tribune that a female surfer nearby saw him face-down and got him out of the water. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Endersby said the attack appears to have been recent based on the condition of the surfer’s body. Crews will patrol the area to look for the shark.

"Obviously, it’s tragic and we’re all sad, especially given the time this occurred," Endersby told the newspaper. "It’s tragic this happened. We’re all sad and our condolences go out to the families."

Additional details were not immediately available.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.