Confirming widespread speculation, it appears a great white shark was responsible for last Friday’s deadly attack off Surf Beach that claimed the life of UCSB student Lucas Ransom.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau, said spokesperson Drew Sugars, conferred with a “renowned shark expert” who made the determination.
The expert — named Ralph Collier, president of the Shark Research Committee and author of “Shark Attacks of the 20th Century” — met with coroner’s detectives and was allowed to examine Ransom’s wound, the boogie board, and fragments of a recovered shark tooth.
Collier said it’s likely that the great white is 17-18 feet long and weighs around 4,000 pounds. He also said there have only been 12 “authenticated fatal shark attacks” on the West Coast since 1950.
Sugars noted that the last (and only) time the Coroner’s Bureau investigated a fatal shark attack was in December 1994, when a scuba diver was killed off San Miguel Island.