Man who died while surfing in Del Mar remembered as kind, gentle

DEL MAR, Calif. - A 36-year-old Cardiff man who died after falling from his surfboard off the coast of Del Mar has been identified as Rob Leard.

Family members and officials with the county Medical Examiner’s Office on Sunday confirmed his identity to 10News.

Leard’s uncle, David Allen, told 10News surfing was his favorite pastime.

"A big, strong gentle giant that was an excellent surfer … He looked imposing, but he was such a kind and gentle man,” said Allen.

On Saturday, a fellow surfer pulled Leard from the ocean and brought him to shore near the 100 block of 20th Street in Del Mar.

An off-duty emergency room doctor and lifeguards attempted to revive him, but he was declared dead at the scene, officials with the Medical Examiner's Office said. The cause of death was pending, according to officials.

Leard grew up in Virginia but has lived in the San Diego area for 10 years.

He lived in Cardiff and worked at a credit card security company. Leard leaves behind his wife of five years.

Leard’s family is planning a vigil, which will be held likely sometime next weekend.

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