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December 5, 2023

Beach closed after shark attack

A Santa Cruz man died after a shark attacked him at Sand Dollar Beach, which is part of Manresa State Beach.

Ben Kelly, 26, was pronounced dead on the shore in front of Cañon del Sol, a gated community of 97 townhome units on Sand Dollar Drive.

State Parks Lifeguards posted Beach Closed shark warning signs in the area. They typically close beaches for five days following a shark attack.

“You can’t surf here, so don’t come here and surf. Check-in with our state lifeguards for surf conditions and other dangers,” Gabe McKenna, safety superintendent for California State Parks.

When I rode my bike through downtown Santa Cruz over the weekend, I could clearly see an uptick in businesses opening. Several people were walking along Pacific Avenue with to-go coffee cups, and a long line of people were at the popular Zoccoli’s Delicatessen.

I also spotted a barista at Peet’s Coffee painting a new sign in the window: “We Are Now Open.”

“I’m so happy we are open,” Makayla Quarles said.

There are now 1,343,873 cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. In Monterey County there are 279 cases with six deaths and 137 recoveries. Santa Cruz County has 141 cases, two deaths and 114 recoveries. And in San Benito County there are 55 cases, two deaths and 50 recoveries. In the Monterey Bay area, 110 cases have been reported in the agriculture industry or 40 percent. 

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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