Shark expert says great white shark likely killed surfer
Francisco Solorio surfing near Santa Barbara
Last Updated: 414 days ago
SAN DIEGO - A shark expert tells 10News that it is most likely a 16-foot great white shark that killed a 39-year-old surfer.
Francisco Solorio, a father of two, was killed Tuesday while surfing in the waters near Santa Barbara.
"Its motivation for the attack was to capture what it thought was a prey," said shark expert Ralph Collier.
Collier was called to assist investigators in Santa Barbara as they examined Solorio's body and surfboard. They used the teeth marks in the board to determine the size of the shark.
"We were able to determine from examining the evidence they had – the surf board – that the shark responsible for the attack is a white shark or great white shark and its length is 15 to 16 feet," said Collier.
Solorio is now the second man killed along the same stretch of beach just off Vandenberg Air Force Base. He was surfing Tuesday with friends when they say the shark came out of nowhere and bit Solorio in the upper body.
He was pulled out of the water where friends frantically began CPR. But by the time emergency rescue crews arrived, Solorio was dead.
"He was just a really nice guy," said friend Nathan Winkles. "He was nice to everyone, good attitude… just a standup, a great guy."
Friends say Solorio was a family man. He was a husband and proud father of two young girls.
"Scary, sad, tragic and definitely makes me more scared to go in the water," said Santa Barbara resident Wren Sumerel.
Two years ago, almost to the day, UC Santa Barbara student Lucas Ransom was killed in the same area when he was attacked by a great white shark.
Collier says it is the third attack and the second fatality in the same area in the past four years.
As a precautionary measure, all beaches on Vandenberg's coastline are closed for at least 72 hours.
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