It was two years ago to the day that ESPN Surfing reported on the shark attack that took the life of a bodyboarder at Vandenburg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara, Calif. Yesterday morning, another surfer lost his life at the same spot, known as Surf Beach.
Authorities received a call about an attack Monday at 10:58 a.m. When they arrived they found a male, likely in his 30s, and were unable to save him. Initially the victim's name was not released, but now authorities report that the man was 39-year-old Javier Solorio Jr. of Orcutt, Calif. Solorio was attacked in his upper torso.
Lt. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Santa Maria Station stated at a press conference on Tuesday:
"There were four subjects surfing out here. Two of them had already come in. Two were left out there in the water surfing. One of the surfers witnessed his friend attacked by the shark. Actually, the story that we have at this point is that he actually saw a shark come up and strike his friend. He helped his friend to the shore and started lifesaving efforts himself.
"It's pretty well known, locally, that there are sharks. And we've had shark sightings up and down the Santa Barbara coastline pretty frequently recently. It has been pretty well publicized recently."
Raney also noted that after the attack two years ago, there were shark-warning signs posted, but there were none up yesterday during this recent attack. In the U.S., 2012 has been a fairly active year for shark attacks.
Solorio was reportedly a lifelong and experienced surfer.