Surfer found unconscious in water near Sunset Cliffs dies

Posted at 6:22 AM, Jan 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-06 02:27:59-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A surfer who was reported missing in the water off Sunset Cliffs Friday morning and was later found unconscious by lifeguards died, authorities told 10News.

The man, who was said to be an experienced surfer, was reported missing by a friend just before 6 a.m. after his surfboard washed ashore on the beach just south of Sunset Cliffs, near Point Loma Nazarene University.

Lifeguards launched an aerial and water search for the surfer, and he was later found unconscious in the water. According to San Diego Fire-Rescue officials, the surfer was in the water for about an hour before he was found.

As he was transported by boat to the San Diego Lifeguards Station in Mission Bay, emergency crews performed CPR and other life-saving measures.

Shortly before 8 a.m., authorities told 10News the man died before they were able to take him to the hospital.

10News learned Stan Searfus, 56, was a surf coach at Coronado Middle and High schools.

Coronado Unified School District Superintendent Karl Mueller issued the following statement regarding Searfus' death:

This morning, we learned of the sudden and tragic passing of Mr. Stan Searfus. Having served as CMS & CHS surf coach for years, Mr. Searfus and his family are beloved and well-connected members of our Coronado (and greater San Diego surf) community. He advocated for, and encouraged, opportunities for our students to experience and appreciate nature with care and compassion.

Stan's passion for surfing, the ocean, and the environment was infectious-his influence over the youth in our town cannot be overstated.

Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

Understanding the impact this will have on our student body, Ms. Mellina and Ms. Moore will gather surf club members this morning to inform them of this tragic news and provide opportunities for students to access counseling services and/or reach out to their parents. All CUSD principals and staff are aware of Mr. Searfus' passing and are planning appropriate supports for our students.

This is a very sad day for Coronado-we have lost one of the jewels in our crown.

A GoFundMe account has been established to assist the Searfus family.

According to the GoFundMe page, Searfus leaves behind a wife and six children.