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Surfer drowned before shark attack, medical examiner rules

May 10, 2013|By Tony Perry

SAN DIEGO -- The apparent shark bites found on the body of a surfer came from an attack after the 42-year-old man had drowned, the San Diego County medical examiner ruled late Friday.

Brandon Beaver died while on a surfing outing off Pacific Beach. His body was discovered floating offshore early Thursday.

Medical examiner investigators who responded to a call from San Diego lifeguards had reached a tentative conclusion that the bites came in a "post-mortem" attack. But a final ruling was delayed until a more detailed examination could take take place Friday.

A woman had reported to authorities at 7:35 p.m. Wednesday that her fiance was missing after a surfing outing. Lifeguards and the U.S. Coast Guard searched for several hours with boats and helicopters.

The body initially was spotted by a beachgoer about 3:30 a.m. Thursday. The body was naked and the man's wetsuit had been wrapped around the surfboard. The wetsuit and surfboard were recovered.

"There are a lot of unknowns," said Lifeguard Lt. John Everhart.

The medical examiner lists no contributing cause of death beyond drowning.

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 tony.perry@latimes.com

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