This morning there was a fatal shark attack in Solana Beach in North County San Diego between the surf breaks known as “Tabletops” and “Pillbox” near Fletcher Cove. The attack happened around 7 AM, and lifeguards received the 911 call at 7:20 AM.
The victim was identified as Dr. David Martin, a sixty-six-year-old Solana Beach resident and veterinarian. Martin was pronounced dead at 7:49 AM.
At the time of the attack he was with a group of nine other swimmers between 100 and 150 yards out to sea training for a triathlon. Martin was a member of a club called the Triathlon Club of San Diego, who trains regularly at dawn in Solana Beach waters.
According to a press release issued at the scene of the tragedy, Martin was in the middle of the pack of swimmers when he was violently attacked and pulled under water. The other swimmers saw blood in the water before Martin surfaced for the first time screaming. He was pulled underwater once more and then resurfaced when a fellow swimmer grabbed him and swam him in to the beach where he died.
According to Dr. Richard Rosenblatt, a shark specialist, the attack almost certainly came at the jaws of a Great White. Says Rosenblatt: "The wounds and the attack is most likely the behavior of a Great White Shark. We can estimate by the look and size of the wounds that the animal was an adult approximately twelve to sixteen feet long. I believe that the shark most likely mistook the group of swimmers as a pod of seals. Shark attacks are extremely rare in Southern California, but there is a migration of the animals from San Francisco to the Guadalupe Islands where the females come to give birth."
According to Scott Bass, who was on a long distance paddle nearby at the time of the attack, "It was a nice morning, the weather was warm, and there was just a little bit of a red tide type of feel to the water. The waves were fun, but things felt a little off."
“Then, while I was on my way back home during the paddle, a helicopter came crawling out of nowhere screaming over the ocean, 'There has been a fatal shark attack in the area! Exit the ocean! There has been a fatal shark attack in the area. Exit the ocean!'"
According to Del Mar lifeguards, the victim's legs were both shredded severely leaving also a twenty twoinch bite mark on his body. As a preventative measure, the coastal beaches of San Diego from Torrey Pines to South Carlsbad have been closed for the weekend.
"It's pretty spooky," says Bass. "The entire coast of San Diego from Del Mar to Encinitas is empty right now. It's surreal."
Stay Tuned to SurferMag.com for more information.