Official: Body found is missing surfer, has wounds that may be consistent with shark bites

Friend identifies surfer as Brandon Beaver

SAN DIEGO - A 42-year-old San Diego man who disappeared while surfing near Pacific Beach likely drowned and a shark may have attacked his body after death, a lifeguard official said Thursday.

The body was discovered in kelp at the water line north of Tourmaline Surfing Park about 3:35 a.m., about eight hours after lifeguards were alerted to a person who may have needed assistance off north Pacific Beach, according to San Diego lifeguard Lt. John Everhart and fire officials.

A lifeguard lost sight of the surfer in three-foot seas about a half-mile north of Crystal Pier, according to the Coast Guard, which aided in the search.

An unattended surfboard with a wetsuit tied around it was found about 300 yards out, according to Everhart and the Coast Guard.

"There are some unusual facts in this case -- the surfboard and the person's wetsuit were recovered out in the water well off shore," Everhart said. "So at some point this person who was in a wetsuit took their wetsuit off, tied their wetsuit around the surfboard in a very purposeful manner and then somehow they became submerged -- and we don't know the facts surrounding that."

While officials have not confirmed the surfer's identity, a friend spoke to 10News Thursday afternoon and identified the deceased man as Brandon Beaver. The friend said Beaver owned a construction remodeling business.

A woman called San Diego police about 10 p.m. Wednesday and said her fiance had not returned from an earlier surfing excursion, Everhart said.

Everhart said it had been confirmed that he was the person whose body was found on the beach. His name was withheld pending family notification, although his fiancee was notified, the lieutenant said.

Everhart said it was thought the man had drowned.

"At this point we feel that this person became submerged somehow -- we still don't understand the circumstances of how that happened," Everhart said.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office reported the wounds found on the body were consistent with a shark attack, but the initial investigation indicated the attack occurred after death, according to Everhart.

"This is a very tragic situation," Everhart said. "A person lost their life yesterday."

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