Reporting Tom Reopelle
SAN DIEGO (CBSLA.com) — A naked body that washed ashore a Southern California beach is believed to be that of a missing surfer who was likely attacked by a shark after drowning, officials said Thursday.
KNX 1070′s Tom Reopelle reports authorities described the death of the 42-year-old San Diego man as unusual after his body was found early Thursday morning.
Lifeguards found the victim floating along the water line north of Tourmaline Surfing Park around 3:35 a.m., according to San Diego Lifeguard Lt. John Everhart.
The apparent victim was reported missing about a half-mile north of Crystal Pier the previous night.
An unattended surfboard with a wetsuit tied around it was found about 300 yards off shore, Everheart said.
“The whole case is very unusual,” Everheart said. “I’ve been a lifeguard for 29 years and I don’t ever remember someone taking their wetsuit off out of the ocean and tying it to their surfboard.”
Authorities believe the surfer drowned and then subsequently was attacked by a shark, according to findings by the Medical Examiner’s Office, which reported wounds found on the body were consistent with a shark attack, Everheart said.
A woman called San Diego police about 10 p.m. Wednesday and said her fiancé had not returned from an earlier surfing excursion, Everhart told reporters.
However, Everheart said there was no indication that surfers and other water enthusiasts should be concerned about the shark bites.
“There’s no indication at all that this was someone that was swimming or snorkeling or surfing and then it attacked,” he said.
Authorities still were unsure how exactly the victim drowned.
His identity was being withheld pending family notification.
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