SAN ONOFRE : Surfer, 39, Pulled Out of Ocean Dies

A 39-year-old Cardiff man died Tuesday after he paddled out on a surfboard to take advantage of larger-than-normal waves generated by tropical storm Olivia.

The victim, identified Wednesday as Marc Woods, was pulled from the ocean about 9:50 a.m. after another surfer discovered him face down in the water. Woods was taken to Samaritan Medical Center-San Clemente, where he was pronounced dead at 11:16 a.m., said a spokeswoman for the Orange County coroner's office.

An autopsy has been completed, the spokeswoman said, but the official cause of death will not be released pending results from toxicology and microscopic tissue tests. Woods had no history of medical problems, she said.

Mike Tope, chief ranger at San Onofre State Beach, said the surfer who found Woods had exchanged pleasantries with him a few moments earlier while both were paddling out in an area about 150 yards from shore where the waves don't break. The area is between two surfing spots known as "Old Man's" and "The Point."

Tope said the witness reported that Woods' hair was dry and he was wearing a full wet suit when the two men spoke. But Woods was gasping and unconscious when the surfer next found him, Tope said. The man and two other surfers brought Woods to the beach, where two other bystanders helped begin CPR, Tope said.

Woods was one of several surfers lured to the water Tuesday by larger-than-normal surf, Tope said. The waves were smaller Wednesday, and no other serious incidents were reported.

The coroner's spokeswoman said that Woods lived in a motor home and kept a post office box in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

Woods, who worked for a fire extinguisher company in San Diego County, was unmarried and had no children, the spokeswoman said.

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