Francisco Solorio: Shark Attack Death at Surf Beach Near Santa Barbara | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Francisco Solorio: Shark Attack Death at Surf Beach Near Santa Barbara

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Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:19 AM

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Updated at the bottom with the victim's ID. Headline has changed. First posted at 1:10 p.m. Tuesday.

A man was killed in a shark attack today off Surf Beach in Santa Barbara County, a sheriff's official told the Weekly.

A Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman told us the beach is off Vandenberg Air Force Base and would be under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

It appeared to have happened ...

... in the water this morning near Lompoc, a sheriff's official said.


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It wasn't immediately clear if the man was surfing, swimming or doing something else, but it is known as a surf spot.

Two years ago almost to the day, a UC Santa Barbara student bodyboarding at Surf Beach [added] died after he had a leg bitten off by a shark.

We'll keep you updated.

[Added at 1:45 p.m.]: Vandenberg Sgt. Erica Picariello told the Weekly the victim was a 38-year-old man.

She said a friend of his reported the attack about 11 a.m. It happened about 500 yards off "Surf Station," Picariello said.

Vandenberg first responders were on-scene, followed by sheriff's officials, she said. While the victim was described as "seriously injured," rescuers attempted CPR and then "stopped," she said.

The man was not affiliated with the base, Picariello said.

Would-be onlookers were urged to stay away from the area while authorities investigated.

[Added at 2:32 p.m.]: A sheriff's official told us the victim was surfing when he was attacked. Indeed, the official said, efforts at CPR were not successful and he was pronounced dead on the beach.

[Update at 2:42 p.m.]: Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Williams told us that the man was "surfing with friends" when a buddy saw the attack, paddled over to him, pulled him to the beach and started CPR as another pal went up a bluff or hill to call 911.

The base fire department responded first, but paramedics declared the man dead "on the beach," Williams said.

Family had not been notified of the victim's death, so his ID could not yet be released, the sergeant said.

It wasn't immediately clear what kind of shark was involved.

[Update at 12:19 a.m. Wednesday]: Santa Barbara County sheriff's officials ID'd the victim as 39-year-old Francisco Javier Solorio Jr. of Orcutt.

Friends said he was an avid surfer. Three of his pals were with him at the time, according to 3KEY News. The station reported he was bitten in the upper torso.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a friend saw the attack.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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