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Shark kills 39-year-old surfer near Santa Barbara, California

U.S. Air Force via Reuters

A sign is posted near the beach where a shark attack took place near Vandenberg Air Force Base on Tuesday.

Updated at 10:04 p.m. ET: A 39-year-old man surfing off Surf Beach near Lompoc was pronounced dead Tuesday after he was pulled from the water after an apparent shark attack.

The victim was identified as Francisco Javier Solorio Jr., 39, of nearby Orcutt.

A friend pulled Solorio onto the sand and started CPR while another surfer called 911. Solorio was pronounced dead at the beach, which is about 60 miles northwest of Santa Barbara on Vandenberg Air Force Base.


He was "bitten by the shark in the upper torso area," according to the initial investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Solorio was not affiliated with the military base, according to a press release from Vandenberg.

Solorio's fatal injury appeared to be a shark bite, and his surf board had "visible signs of bite marks," according to Lt. Erik Raney of the sheriff’s department's Santa Maria station.

The sheriff's department did not have details regarding the type of shark involved in the attack but had contacted an expert to confirm the injury, the Vandenberg release stated.

The Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department responded to the 911 call at about 11 a.m. Three other males were at the beach at the time of the attack, the sheriff's department said.

It's been two years since a fatal shark attack at Surf Beach. In October 2010, a 19-year-old college student was killed in a shark attack off Surf Beach. Lucas Ransom was bodyboarding when he disappeared under the water about 100 yards off shore.

In 2008, a shark bit a surfer's board in the waters off the beach, one of three on the Air Force base.

Surf Beach was closed until further notice Tuesday and base officials were asking the public to avoid the area "due to safety considerations."

"We've had shark sightings up and down the Santa Barbara coastline pretty frequently recently," Raney told the Associated Press.

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