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LOS ANGELES — A child was kayaking with their father off Santa Catalina Island Wednesday when they were bitten in the hand by a great white shark, officials said.

The attack was reported near the Southern California island around 7:15 a.m., according to lifeguards with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

“The patient and their father were kayaking near Parson’s Landing when their boat was bumped by what is believed to be a shark of unknown size and type,” lifeguards tweeted. “During the encounter, the patient reached their hand into the water and was bit by the animal.”

The victim had stable vital signs, lifeguards said, but due to the nature of the injury and remote location, the child was taken by helicopter to a hospital to undergo surgery.

The victim was airlifted from Emerald Bay, an LACFD dispatcher confirmed, but further details on their age and gender were not immediately available. The bay is a remote area west of the two harbors, not far from where the bite took place.

Lifeguards cleared and closed the ocean one mile in each direction of the incident for at least 24 hours, per LACFD policy.

Lifeguards also requested the assistance of a shark expert from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to further identify the size and type of the shark, according to the tweet.

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