Francisco Javier Solorio Jr. Fatal Shark Attack California 2012
Another family's life was left shattered following the death of 39 year old Francisco Javier Solorio Jr in a fatal shark attack off one of California's popular surfing beaches.
On the morning of October 23rd, 2012, Francisco Javier Solorio was surfing with a friend off Surf Beach, Lompoc, within a publicly accessed area of Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The shark, believed to be a great white, bit him in his upper chest, causing catastrophic injuries.
His friend, who is as yet unnamed, pulled him to the shore and attempted resuscitation but it was too late to save his life.
The incident happened two years and a day since the last fatal shark attack in the USA.
A student at the University of California, 19 year old Lucas Ransom was fatally mauled by a great white shark on October 22, 2010, at the same beach which is 150 miles north of Los Angeles.
An Air Force spokesman has now stated that ALL the beaches within the Vandenberg Air Force Base will now be closed as a precaution.
Map showing the location of Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Francisco Javier Solorio Jr. of Orcutt was killed by a shark at Surf Beach off Lompoc
Shark Attacks Worldwide
Shark attacks are relatively rare world-wide.
In 2011, there were 67 reported shark attacks worldwide, and 13 fatalities, an unusually high amount.
Normally there are only 6 or 7 fatalities a year, as most sharks do not inflict fatal wounds.
This is generally because they are not big enough. The bigger and more powerful the shark, the more dangerous are the bites, even if it only takes a nibble.
We are not normally their choice of food, and sometimes sharks make mistakes.
The rogue shark theory is being sorely tested in Western Australia where there has been a spate of fatal shark attacks, all apparently carried out by a 16 foot long white pointer (great white). The latest victim was Ben Linden in July of 2012.
There is no suggestion that the shark involved in the Californian attack is a rogue shark.
Recent shark spottings in California
Californian beaches are normally closed when sharks are spotted.
No reported sightings had been made in recent times at Surf Beach, where the latest fatality took place.
There had, however, been an unusually high number of sightings up and down the Santa Barbara coastline, according to Lt. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.
These sightings were well-publicized, and the public warned.
In May, a shark attack a man's kayak in Cambria, while in July, a shark bit through a man's kayak, throwing him into the water, at Santa Cruz.
In each case, the shark involved was believed to a 12 - 14 feet long great white.
Both men escaped without injury.
Sharks do a magnificent job of keeping our oceans clean and disease-free, but in recent years many have been fished almost out of existence due to the Asian desire for shark fin's soup.
This has led to many types of sharks becoming a protected species.
The ocean is their domain and they are top of the oceanic food chain.
When man and shark meet, in the vast majority of cases the shark will turn tail and swim away.
Now and again they attack, and sadly in this instance Francisco Javier Solorio Jr. lost his life.
A man who had surfed at this same beach since he was a boy, and who by all accounts was a great surfer, died doing what he loved to do.
Our deepest sympathies go to his family, from all at Sharkfacts.
Shark attacks saw a rise in the US in 2012.
Let's hope it does not rise in 2013.