Article

Surfer Killed by Shark Near Santa Barbara

Second fatal attack at Surf Beach in two years

| posted on October 23, 2012

Bite marks from the 15- to 16-foot great white that attacked a surfer Tuesday at Surf Beach in Santa Barbara County. Photo: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

Update: Experts have examined the wound and board damage to determine that Solorio was attacked by a 15- to 16-foot great white Tuesday at Surf Beach. Solorio, a long-time local from nearby Orcutt, frequented Surf Beach since he was a kid. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

Francisco Javier Solorio Jr., a 39-year-old surfer from Orcutt, Calif., was killed by a shark Tuesday morning at Surf Beach, on Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County. Witness reports say four surfers were in the water when the shark attacked; one swam to the victim and pulled him to the beach while another called 911.

Solorio, an experienced surfer, sustained a massive bite to his upper torso. After attempted CPR by paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene. They’ve yet to release estimates of what type of shark it was or of its size.

This fatal attack occurred almost two years to the day that 19-year-old bodyboarder Lucas Ransom was fatally attacked by an 18-foot great white shark at the exact same beach on Oct. 22, 2010. The beach remains closed until further notice.

As details emerge, find updates on this story at Surfermag.com/.



Approximate location of the attack marked by the red pin on map:

Air Force Base officials close the beach after the fatal shark attack in 2010. Photo: Spencer Weiner/AP

  • anthony

    Swim at your own risks,sharks live in the water.

  • mattia

    Sharks come closer and closer to shore cuz we are taking all the fish outta the ocean. The more people will start to stand up or change their habits, the stronger the message and the change could be.
    peaceout

  • stabo

    I have surfed all my life, the spots just north of the ranch were my local spots since the 60′s. But I must admit there is a very evil dark area in my soul that secretly wishes all large sharks become extinct. Sorry, I can’t help it. I am a very bad person.

  • daniel

    If you look at the dates, this attack and the one 2 years ago happened during the same time. migrating information…for this area..

  • http://alternativeblondie.tumblr.com Lauren

    it’s freaky that it happened like, almost exactly 2 years after the other fatal attack, and at the same place, but it’s still wicked sad that a someone died to a shark doing something they love. It’s neither his or the shark’s fault. They both at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Ramon

    To anthony
    So if a shark were to enjoy walking in the park or going to the movies, that would make appropriate to get some bloddy hell out of him, what a bastard trying to enjoy as us
    Hope you do not feel like taking a swim

  • RICHARD FAWELL

    OK RALPH COLLIER–FOREMOST GREAT WHITE EXPERT-NOW YOU REALIZE THAT IT IS TIME TO ALLOW FOR THE FISHING OF THE GREAT LIKE BEFORE AS WELL AS THE CULLING OF SEALS. AS YOU KNOW THE SEAL POPULATION HAS INCREASED FROM 10,000 TO OVER 300,000 IN THE PAST 15 YRS OR SO ON THE PACIFIC COAST. THIS IS THE FUEL FOR THE FIRE SO TO SPEAK–THAT FIRE BEING THE THE JAWS OF A GREAT WHITE . JUST TO REMIND YOU WE HAVE NOW HAD ON THE PACIFIC COAST (INCLUDING MEXICO) 5 FATAL ATTACKS IN THE PAST 4 YEARS. I AM BEGGING YOU TO WAKE UP AND HELP THE HUMAN RACE WHICH I PRAY YOU CONSIDER TO BE JUST A LITTLE MORE IMPORTANT THAN A GD SHARK. IT IS TIME FOR TO GET TO WORK. WHILE I AM AT IT—-WHY ARE WE THE ONLY CIVILIZED NATION IN THE WORLD ,WITH A SAHRK PROBLEM, THAT HAS NOT INSTALLED SHARK NETS TO PROTECT ITS CITIZENS!!!!???????

  • rfawell

    as mr. ralph collier recently said just go in the water and do not worry about it! wait a minute ralph—-how many more human victims do we need before you and others begin TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE YOUR OWN RACE—HOMO SAPIENS—-IT IS TIME TO REALIZE THAT HUMAN BEINGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN A GD SHARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAKE THE HELL UP BEFORE IT HAPPENS AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. I HATE TO SAY THIS TO YOU BUT YOU INDEED HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS ALONG WITH OTHERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY.–SOLTION 1) ALLOW FOR THE CONTROLLED FISHING OF GREAT WITES WITH NETS 2) allow for the culling of seals–the fuel for the fie 3)install shark nets at the appropriate beaches

  • awaryo

    Guess it’s good that I am now land locked and “stuck” with snowboarding.

  • Cathy

    I completely agree with Anthony and Mattia. One, you always swim at your own risk. Two, read about overfishing and humans’ responsibility in ruining all of our ocean ecosystems.

  • RICHARD FAWELL

    LOOK, I REALIZE THAT THE GREAT WHITE IS A MAGNIFICENT CREATURE AND A CREATION OF GOD. HOWEVER, WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTING HUMAN LIVES WE MUST NOT KEEP SAYING OH WELL MISTAKEN IDENTITY OR IT WILL NOT HAPPEN TO YOU! THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT 5 HUMAN BEINGS HAVE BEEN KILLED BY GREAT WHITES ON THE PACIFIC COAST OF CALIFORNIA AND MEXICO IN LESS THAN 4 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!! WAKE UP EVERYONE!!!!!!!! COMPARED TO THE LAST 100 YEARS THIS IS A TRAGIC INCREASE OF EPIC PROPORTIONS. WHY DO I HAVE TO TELL SOMEONE TO PLACE THE IMPORTANCE OF A HUMAN LIFE OVER THAT OF A SHARK? THE FACT THAT I MUST PROVES THE IDIOTIC, FANATICAL, NON-CEREBRAL, FATAL ATTRACTION MENTALITY OF CONSERVATIONISTS!!!

  • richard fawell

    JUST FOR THE RECORD WHEN I USE GD IN FRONT OF THE WORD” SHARK” IT MEANS “GOSH DARN” r. fawell thank you

  • Matthew

    Bottom line: He died doing what he loved. There are calculated risks that you take in any activity that you do. Personally, I would rather die surfing or riding a dirt bike than getting hit by a car, from cancer, or what ever else.

  • Joe

    These are tragic situations and no life should be lost. My heart goes out to this surfer’s wife and daughter. I too have a young family (wife, daughter and one on the way). However, there is a risk every time you get into the water. I, as a surfer, know that risk and make a conscience decision knowing I could be attacked by a shark every time I paddle out (and I go every chance I get).
    We are going into their world and must respect it. If a shark was go come to our “world” they should expect to have similar risks.
    Keep in mind; statistically you have a better chance of getting in a car accident going to the beach than getting attacked by a shark in the water. Last year, over 33,000 fatalities were due to car accidents. Over 3,000 alone were in CA. It’s the risk we take every time we get into an automobile. We all take risks…
    Much respect to all.

  • richard fawell

    WHY DO WE HAVE A PROBLEM–WHAT THE CONSERVATIONISTS NEVER BRING UP IS THAT THEY CREATED THE PROBLEM. HOW? BY FORCING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO BAN THE CULLING OF SEALS AND THE CONTROLLED FISHING OF THE GREAT WHITE. BECAUSE OF THESE BANS WE NOW HAVE OVER 300,000 SEALS ON THE PACIFIC COAST WHICH OBVIOUSLY ARE FED UPON BY THE GREAT WHITE. THE SOLUTION IS SIMPLE, WE MUST RETURN TO THE NORMAL CONTROLLED FISHING OF THE GREAT WHITE AND WE MUST ALLOW FOR THE CULLING OF THE SEAL POPULATION AS HAD ALWAYS BEEN DONE. WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT JUST BECAUSE AN INDIVIDUAL HAS A PHD IN MARINE BIOLOGY DOES NOT MEAN THAT HE OR SHE CAN IMPOSE HIS ABSURD FATAL ATTRACTION FOR AN APEX PREDATOR ON THE REST OF US!!!!!!!!!!! THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT HUMAN BEINGS ARE BEING KILLED–FORGET TALKING ABOUT MISTAKEN IDENTITY, MORE PEOPLE IN THE WATER, BETTER CHANCE OF BEING KILLED BY A CAR–THE ONLY THING WE NEED TO KNOW IS THAT 5 HUMAN BEINGS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN LESS THAN 4 YEARS ON THE PACIFIC COAST, 3 IN CALIFORNIA AND 2 IN MEXICO AND WE MUST DO SOMETHING TO STOP THIS. IF WE DO NOT IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE. HOW MANY VICTIMS DO WE NEED BEFORE WE TAKE THE NE CESSARY STEPS I MENTIONED ABOVE WHICH HAD ALWAYS BEEN IN PLACE. THE TME TO ACT IS NOW BEFORE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING IS KILLED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://google Susan

    It is very sad that the surfer was killed and my heart hurts for his family. I’m not a Marine Biologist and I do not have a PhD, but I do have stats. Each year 15-25 humans are attacked by sharks. Some of the attacks are fatal. Each year 150-200 million sharks are killed by humans. Sharks feel with their mouth and we are not their favorite food. We do not have the right to kill them just because we fear them. Sharks are ultimately responsible for keeping our oceans clean from sick, dying, and dead creatures that would otherwise contaminate the oceans. Once again, humans are responsible for our oceans being polluted. Because we overfish, sharks are having to come closer to shore to find food. Sharks need to be protected. If you enjoy clean air, thank a shark!