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15-Year-Old Boy Bitten By Shark While Kayaking At Parson's Landing On Catalina Island

CATALINA ISLAND (CBSLA) A teenage boy who was camping at the Boy Scout's Emerald Bay Camp was flown to a hospital Wednesday after being bitten by a shark while kayaking in the waters off Catalina Island.

"The patient and his father were kayaking just offshore on Parson's Landing. Their boat was bumped by a shark," said Pono Barnes, a spokesperson with Los Angeles County Lifeguards. "During the encounter, the boy had put his hand in the water."

Los Angeles County Lifeguard paramedic boat crews responded to a medical emergency at Parson's Landing on Catalina Island at about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday and found a 15-year-old boy had sustained an apparent shark bite.

Authorities said the boy -- a Boy Scouts of America youth camp participant -- sustained a hand injury and was airlifted to UCLA Harbor to undergo surgery. He is currently in stable condition. The father was not injured.

The size and type of shark were not known.

The ocean was cleared and closed a mile in each direction of the site of the attack, and the closure will remain in place for at least 24 hours. Los Angeles County Fire Lifeguard officials say they have also notified the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Coast Guard of the incident. A shark expert from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography has also been requested to identify the size and type of shark.

The Boy Scouts of America's Western Los Angeles County Council confirmed one of their participants "sustained a non-life-threatening bite injury from a shark while canoeing near Emerald Bay."

"Our camp staff quickly removed all participants from the water following this incident, and we have canceled all water activities as we work with Los Angeles County Fire Department," a statement from the Boy Scouts of America said. "We provide a chase boat, which goes out before every water activity that takes place outside of Emerald Bay to identify potential weather and wildlife hazards and follows each group of participants back to shore. No hazards were spotted this morning."

Boy Scouts officials say this is the first shark-related injury in Emerald Bay Camp's nearly 100-year history.

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