Surfer's Naked Body Washes Up On San Diego Beach With Shark Bites; What Happened To The 42-Year-Old?

By Philip Ross on May 10, 2013 10:52 AM EDT

san diego surfer
Pacific Beach, a neighborhood in San Diego, Calif., known for its surfing and nightlife, was developed in the late 1880s. Authorities found the body of a 42-year-old surfer washed up on the shore there early Thursday morning. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Early Thursday morning, authorities in San Diego, Calif., discovered the body of a 42-year-old man washed up on the beach near Pacific Beach. The man was naked, and his body was covered in shark bites. According to NBC San Diego, he was a surfer and had been spotted earlier that day very far out at sea by another surfer.

Police received a missing person report around 10 p.m. Wednesday night from the man's fiancé, who said the man had gone out surfing and had not returned. After the call, investigators combed the beach where the man was believed to be surfing.

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His body was found in a pile of seaweed around 3:30 a.m. right on the border of the neighborhoods of Pacific Beach and La Jolla. The surfboard was later discovered about 250 yards out from shore. According to the Daily Mail, the surfer's truck was parked just north of the beach with the doors open and the keys in the ignition.

"There are a lot of unknowns," Lifeguard Lt. John Everhart told Los Angeles Times.

The identity of the man whose body was found washed up on shore has not yet been released.

Authorities said the tooth marks found on his body were consistent with those of a shark bite, although there's not enough evidence to determine what kind of shark bit the surfer. Investigators also think the surfer was bit by a shark post-mortem; it's likely that the man drowned before being bitten.

The Daily Mail reports that authorities are even considering suicide as a cause of death, given the "very strange" circumstances under which his body was discovered. For one, the man had taken off his wetsuit out in the water and wrapped it around his surfboard in a knot. There was no sign of struggle or damage to either the board or the wet suit.

One surfer who witnessed the man paddling out in the waves dismissed the idea that the 42-year-old had killed himself.

"He was having a rough time paddling out there because it was choppy and windy, but no indication he was out there to take his own life," another surfer, Neil Ratnavira, told NBC.

According to National Geographic, choppy waters are particularly dangerous for surfers because the strength and direction of waves are constantly changing.

The last deadly shark attack in California happened in Oct. 2012 in Santa Barbara County. NBC Los Angeles reports that 39-year-old Francisco Javier Solorio Jr. was surfing near Surf Beach when a shark attacked him. He was pronounced dead at the scene after a friend pulled him from the water.

Read more from iScience Times:

Shark Attack Florida: How Did 16-Year-Old Surfer Michael Adler Survive Vicious Shark Attack?

UPDATE: Man Attacked By Shark In Australia; Watch Alan Saunders Survive Near-Lethal Encounter [VIDEO]

2-Headed Shark Fetus Caught Off Florida Keys: See Photos Of First Two-Headed Bull Shark Ever Recorded

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