Man reportedly dead in shark attack near Surf Beach – UPDATE

Man reportedly dead in shark attack near Surf Beach

A 38-year-old man is reportedly dead after what authorities are calling a likely shark attack at Vandenberg Air Force Base this morning.

Emergency crews responded to Surf Beach on the base this morning for a report of an unresponsive man.

Details are sketchy, but crews reportedly stopped administering CPR to the victim at the scene and the Santa Barbara County coroner’s vehicle arrived at the site after noon.

The victim reportedly is 38 years old, authorities said.

The attack originally was reported as occurring at Surf Beach, but apparently occurred north of there at adjacent Ocean Beach.

Master Sgt. John Peters, a Vandenberg spokesman, said earlier that the man is not believed to be affiliated with the base.

Although the beach is located on Vandenberg Air Force Base, Ocean is accessible to the public along with the adjacent Surf Beach.

Two years ago, a Santa Barbara college student died after being attacked in waters off Vandenberg’s Surf Beach by what’s believed to have been a great white shark.

Lucas M. Ransom, of Romoland, a city near Perris Valley in Riverside County, was in the water with a friend between 9 and 9:30 a.m. Oct. 22, 2010, when the attack occurred. The 19-year-old UCSB student was boogie boarding on the break line about 100 yards off Surf Beach.


Press Release

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office

Man Dies From Shark Attack

Lompoc,- October 23rd, 2012

At 10:58am on October 23, 2012, a 911 call came into the Sheriff’s dispatch center stating a man had been bit by a shark while surfing near Surf Beach in Lompoc. A friend, who was also surfing and witnessed the shark attack, swam over to assist the victim pulling him out of the ocean and onto the beach.  The victim’s friend started first aid procedures while another surfer called 911.  The Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire Department arrived and took over emergency procedures.  The male victim was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The type of shark involved and other details are under investigation at this point.  The name and age of the decedent is being withheld until the next of kin can be notified.


The decedent in this shark attack has been identified as 39 year old Francisco Javier Solorio Jr. (date of birth: 6-15-1973). The decedent is from Orcutt, California.  The initial investigation determined that the decedent was bitten by the shark in the upper torso area.  Three other male individuals were at Surf Beach at the time of the attack.

Update 10/24/2012

The shark in this tragic incident has been positively identified as a 15’ – 16’ foot Great White Shark.  Ralph Collier from the Shark Research Committee in Chatsworth, CA, made the determination today after examining the decedent’s body.  The decedent was bitten on the left side of his upper torso area.

The Solorio family does not want to be contacted and is asking for the media to please respect their privacy during this difficult time.

No other information on this case is being released by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office.

Source and Photo Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office



  1. Angel

    God Bless Him. Condolances to the family and friends.
    Almost all of the California cost is a huge hot spot for Great Whites. Their numbers maybe higher than previously thought. The number of people in the ocean are higher each year. I think the number of sharks are increasing as well. More and more interactions and accidents are unfortunately inevitable.
    Comparing the number of people using the ocean the interactions are still very rare but unfortunately when it happens they are higly damaging, most of the times, deadly. I hope and wish less lifes are lost to these attacks in future.

    • Plus, I would add, since we human keep overfishing and leaving very little food, it is UNDOUBTEDLY inevitable to see an increase in sharks attack. Our techniques with regards to fishing have outdone the natural ways and Mother Nature always have her way to re-even out the chances of surviving…We have to face the truth and start being responsible of our behaviors and pay the price or change our ways with the wiseness of accepting that we need to change our behaviors. My very humble opinion.

      • Angel

        Very good pint.
        This is like a whole package. You can not only accept a part of it and deny the rest.Ocean is a closed eco system. We have been messing around it for over a century now. Please try to see, a closed eco system that exsists for millions of years with everything in it including sharks, all we needed is 100 years to screw it up. Especially last 20 years is a total disaster.
        Please try to visualize what will happen in the next 20 years if humanity does not change ?
        A shark attack will be a mere reflection of the damage humanity will suffer. Oceans are gone, life is gone..

        • Coolio

          When you say we you mean the Orientals! They have no respect for the ocean!!!

          • Angel

            Actually when I said “we”, I mean humans.
            The nationality or geography does not matter.
            It does not need to be you or me or anyone on this web site. But we are all humans at the end and all our efforts have only some degree of effect on others who kill the ocean. It is ours as a whole, as humanity. But unlike land, over 99% of the oceans are not protected. No part of it belongs to individuals but nations or countries.Unfortunately when somebody messes up, we all face the results.

          • Kathy C

            They have no respect for anything. It’s all about the almighty dollar with them, by any means necessary. Ugh. Let’s cut off one of their limbs & then maybe they’ll have some compassion for these wonderful fish.

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