A 66-year old triathlete was killed this morning by what onlookers describe as a “big gray shark”. Dave Martin was swimming about 150 yards offshore at Fletcher Cove, north of San Diego, when he was attacked.
Mr. Martin suffered long jagged lacerations from his upper thighs to shins, with a biting radius of about 22 inches. He was initially taken to a lifeguard station to be transported to a hospital but was pronounced dead at the lifeguard station.
Shark attacks are extremely rare in Southern California. “It just doesn’t happen. A shark attack is unheard of,” said Solana Beach Deputy Fire Chief Dismas Abelman.
The last time a shark was confirmed to have killed someone in San Diego County waters was in 1994.
The victim, 25-year-old Michelle Von Emster, went for a nighttime swim by herself in Ocean Beach April 14.
Her body, with her leg severed at midthigh, was found the following day two miles to the south, near the surfing area known as Garbage Reef.
Investigators determined she drowned after being bitten by a great white shark.