by Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello
30th Space Wing Public Affairs
10/23/2012 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A man was fatally injured today while surfing at Surf Beach here.
Lt. Erik Raney, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Santa Maria Station spokesperson, said the fatal injury appeared to be a shark bite and the surf board had visible signs of bite marks.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office has contacted a shark bite expert to confirm the injury.
The 911 call was placed at 10:58 a.m. by a friend of the injured surfer during the incident which occurred in the waters off of Surf Beach. The injured man's friend was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation when Vandenberg Fire Department arrived and took over CPR. Santa Barbara County first responders arrived soon after and took over life-saving actions.
The individual was pronounced dead on-scene by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Coroner. Exact time of death has not yet been released.
The individual is a 38 year-old male and is not base affiliated.
Surf Beach access is closed until further notice and officials at Vandenberg Air Force Base are requesting the public avoid the area due to safety considerations. Santa Barbara County and Vandenberg officials will work together to reopen the beach once the investigation is complete.
The name of the deceased is being withheld until 24-hours after next of kin notification.
More details will be provided as they become available.