LOS ANGELES - A shark attacked and killed a beachgoer off California's central coast on Tuesday in the second fatal encounter at the same popular surfing beach in two years, authorities said.

Few details were immediately available on the incident at Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base, close to Santa Barbara. The beach was closed by authorities after the attack.

"It was a confirmed shark attack and a confirmed death," Santa Barbara County Sheriff's spokeswoman Melissa Jaramillo said.

Fatal shark attacks are rare on the US West Coast, numbering a handful every year, according to the Shark Research Committee, a nonprofit group that documents attacks.

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