VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A surfer was killed Tuesday by a shark off a beach at coastal Vandenberg Air Force Base following a summer of shark sightings along California’s Central Coast, authorities said.
Francisco Javier Solorio Jr., 39, of Orcutt was killed in the attack off the coast of Surf Beach in Lompoc, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
He was bitten by the shark in his upper torso.
Solorio “had a friend who he was surfing with who saw the shark bite or hit the man,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Mark A. Williams. “His friend ended up swimming over and pulling him from the water where he received first aid.”
The friend started first aid while another surfer called for help, but Solorio was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.
The Air Force said he was not affiliated with the base, which allows public access to some of its beaches.
The type of shark involved and other details were under investigation.
It was the latest shark attack fatality at Surf Beach, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
In October 2010, Lucas Ransom, a 19-year-old student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, died when a shark nearly severed his leg as he body-boarded.
Hundreds of miles south near the coast of San Diego, a 15-foot great white shark is believed to have killed triathlete David Martin in 2008.
There were no shark warning signs posted at Surf Beach on Tuesday, said Lt. Erik Raney, adding that beaches don’t typically post such notices unless the location had a recent shark sighting.
“We’ve had shark sightings up and down the Santa Barbara coastline pretty frequently recently,” said Raney, adding that the sightings are well-publicized.
Last month, warning signs were posted at Santa Barbara Harbor, about 65 miles southeast of Surf Beach, after a 14-foot great white shark was spotted by a surfer.
In July, a man escaped injury near Santa Cruz after being thrown from his kayak by a great white shark that bit through the vessel. An almost identical incident occurred off the coast of Cambria in May.
Death by shark attack is rare. An average of 65 shark attacks occur each year around the world that typically result in two or three deaths, according to the Pew Environment Group.
More Related Stories
- Illinois' fracking and coal rush is a national crisis
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- DHS admits "impossible" to control 3D-printed guns
- Journalists file suit against Manning trial secrecy
- Russia: Syrian regime ready to talk peace
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Ted Cruz against the world
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- 2 men arrested for endangering commercial aircraft
- Oversized load blamed for bridge collapse
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Iran hackers aiming at U.S. energy firms
- Lawyers release data in attempt to discredit Trayvon Martin
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Bridge collapse: Part of "aging infrastructure"
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- Amanda Bynes arrested after hurling bong from window
- Interstate 5 bridge collapses north of Seattle
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11