sucks for him and his family
By: Darlene Conolly and Surfline Staff
April 25, 2008
Dave Martin, 66-year-old swimmer from Solana Beach, was killed by a 17-foot white shark while training for a triathlon near Table Tops in Solana Beach on Friday at 7am. According to Solana Beach firefighters who responded to the attack, the shark only took one bite. It was fatal. Having clamped down on the victim's legs, the shark likely severed the vital arteries in the man's upper thighs, causing him to rapidly lose fatal amounts of blood.
The victim was swimming just outside of the lineup along with about 10 other wetsuited triathletes when he began yelling and was pulled under water. Although his legs were still intact, by the time the other swimmers were able to pull the man to the beach, he had already lost significant amounts of blood. He was pronounced dead upon the arrival of medical assistance according to Deputy Fire Chief Dismas Abelman.
Local surfer Rob Blase was sitting in the lineup at Pillbox, just to the south, when the attack happened. "The group of triathletes swam straight out from the ramp at Pillbox," said Blase. "They swam out towards the kelp beds and then headed north. They were maybe five minutes into their swim when I heard some screams. I heard the one guy yelling, "Shark!" By the time I was able to paddle to the swimmers, they were pulling him onto the beach and the lifeguards saw it too. They were on it, giving him CPR."
Blase continued, "The top half of the bite was right above the kneecap level. They said the bite width was 22 inches across. It just shredded his wetsuit. From the time it happened until the time they brought him in, it was probably seven to eight minutes. But he was already as white as a ghost."
U.S. Coasty Guard and local lifeguards are currently searching the coastline for any sightings of the shark. But chances of spotting it are slim.
There is now a 72-hour advisory to stay out of the water. According to Solana Beach lifeguard and local surfer, Brett Jones, the beach closure spans from the City of Del Mar all the way north through Solana Beach, and up into Cardiff.
North County surfer filmmaker Ira Opper was there as the victim was brought up to the beach and said "it was horrific."
This is the first confirmed fatality from a shark attack in San Diego since 1959 when a swimmer was killed at Alligator Head at La Jolla Cove.
A little over a week ago, a couple local surfers found a three-foot baby white at Cardiff Reef. They were stand-up-paddleboarding and the shark was bumping the bottom of one of their boards. He pulled it up out of the water by the tail.
Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.