A surfer has been killed in a shark attack off a Northern California beach, state park officials said Saturday.

The 26-year-old man was surfing off Manresa State Beach on the northern end of Monterey Bay about 100 yards from the shore just before 1.30pm when he was attacked by an unknown shark species, the California State Parks said in a statement. 

Vision captured by KTVU showed scores of police and rescue crews on the shoreline shortly after the incident.  

According to the California State Parks website, Manresa State Beach is fully closed from 11am to 5pm daily amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

During the other times, the beach is open to local residents, and they must abide by guidelines and keep moving - surfing, jogging and swimming is permitted but sitting and sunbathing is not.

The victim's name has not been released. Santa Cruz Sheriff's deputies notified the man's family.

a group of people on a sandy beach © Provided by Daily Mail a close up of a sign: Police created a sign which was put up to alert residents in the area © Provided by Daily Mail Police created a sign which was put up to alert residents in the area

The water one mile north and south of the attack will be closed for five days. Signs were posted warning beachgoers about the attack.

'State Parks expresses its deepest sympathy to the family of the victim,' the statement said.

While it is unclear what species attacked the surfer, great white sharks are commonly seen swimming in the area in the lead up to summer. 

 Local drone photographer Eric Mailander told KRON4 that he counted 15 great white sharks while out on his boat on Saturday morning. 

Saturday's incident was the third fatal shark attack off Northern California since 1984.  

In 2004, a diver was killed by a 17-foot great white shark near Kibeseliah Rock in Mendocino County. 

In 1984, a 28-year-old man was attacked by a shark at Pigeon Point by a 16-foot great white shark. 

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