38-year-old surfer, Francisco Javier Solorio Jr., was pronounced dead on the scene Tuesday after being attacked by a shark off the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California. According to the Santa Barbara Sheriff Office, Solorio was surfing with three friends when he was suddenly attacked at Surf Beach in Lompoc, the only beach open to the public on the military base. A 911 call by Solorio’s friend at 10:58AM Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, was received a day short of a two-year anniversary of another fatal shark attack on the same beach that killed 19-year-old college student, Lucas McKaine Ransom.
Sgt. Mark Williams of the Santa Barbara Sherff Department said the fire department responded immediately to the emergency call, after one of Solorio’s friends pulled him out of the water and onto the sand, where he proceeded to give him first aid while another friend called for help. The victim’s friend was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation when Vandenberg Fire Department arrived and took over CPR.
Paramedics pronounced Solorio dead at the scene.
Solorio was a resident of Orcutt, just two miles from the scene of the attack. He was not affiliated with the military base. The attack has temporarily closed the beach to the public.
According to CNN, the shark that attacked two years ago on October 22, 2010 was described as being 14 to 20 feet, and bit off the left leg of Ransom while he was boogie boarding. However, the size of the shark from today’s attack are yet to be determined. There are, however, bite marks on the Solorio’s surfboard, with more information on the way.
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New information has surfaced regarding the fatal shark attack that killed surfer Javier Solorio Jr. Tuesday morning off the Santa Barbara coast. Marine biologist Andrew Nosal from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla said, “Most shark attacks in California are caused by great whites. There’s no other species that regularly occurs off of California that could inflict that kind of injury.” Javier was bitten in the upper torso in the waters off of Surf Beach in Santa Barbara County, Tuesday morning. He sadly died at the scene despite a friend’s efforts to save him.
Ralph Collier, a shark attack expert stated that the shark was probably mature and at least 15 feet long. He also said that he would know more information following a meeting with investigators and measuring tooth marks in the victim’s surfboard. It is likely that the shark that bit Solorio failed to identify the surfer and “struck out at this shape assuming it was a natural prey,” Collier said.
All beaches on the base’s coastline have been closed for at least 72 hours as a precaution.
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