A Northern California man who was killed in a shark attack that closed down a beach was well known in the local surfing community as a board maker, according to reports.
Ben Kelly, 26, was surfing with others Saturday at Manresa State Beach in Santa Cruz county when he was attacked by an unknown shark species, CBS San Francisco and KSBW reported.
Sheriff’s deputies were called at about 1:30 p.m. to the state parks beach, where he was pronounced dead from a fatal leg injury, according to KSBW.
Friends paid tribute to Kelly on the Instagram page for his namesake surf shop, Ben Kelly Surfboards.
“A true legend and sweetest man I knew,” wrote one user. “He showed love to everyone and was loved by many.”
Another friend shared a photo of the local surfing entrepreneur, calling him “one of the good ones.”
“Ben, you are one of a kind, one of the good ones, and you will be sorely missed,” pal Che Jordan wrote on Instagram. “Aloha bro and much love on your journey surfing to the stars.”
Kelly’s death prompted closures at the beach, following state guidelines, for one mile north and south of the location of the incident, the outlets reported.
“State Parks expresses its deepest sympathy to the family of the victim,” the California State Parks department said in a statement.
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