“There were wounds on the body and trauma on the body. The Medical Examiner has indicated that the wounds on the body are consistent with what they would expect from a shark attack,’ lifeguard Lt. John Everhart said.
The wounds on the body happened after the man was already dead, according to Medical Examiner’s Office.
The 42-year-old man, whose name was not immediately released, was reported missing at about 10 p.m. Wednesday night by his fiancee, Everhart said. His nude body was discovered about 3:30 a.m. in the vicinity of Grand Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, near where the man had been surfing.
A lifeguard lost sight of the surfer in three-foot seas about a half-mile north of Crystal Pier, then contacted the Coast Guard about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday. Lifeguards searched the area for about an hour. They found the man’s surfboard with his wetsuit.
Everhart said the man took off his wet suit, tied it around the surfboard and then quickly disappeared beneath the water with no obvious signs of struggle.
“There are some very unusual facts to this case. The surfboard and the person’s wet suit were recovered out in the water, well offshore. So at some point, this person, who was in a wetsuit, took their wetsuit off, tied their wetsuit around their surfboard in a very purposeful manner and then somehow they became submerged.,” he said. “The thought is the person drowned in the waters off north PB and then sometime after that event was the shark attack incident.”
Everhart said investigators have not determined if the man died as the result of suicide or accidental drowning.