Shark that killed man near Morro Bay was probably a great white, official says

A sign advises about a shark attack in Morro Bay.
A sign advises about a shark attack Friday in Morro Bay, Calif, where a man was killed.
(David Middlecamp / San Luis Obispo Tribune)

A shark that killed a man off the coast of Central California on Christmas Eve was probably a great white, an official said.

The man was pulled from the waves near Morro Bay on Friday after a surfer saw him facedown in the water with a boogie board floating nearby. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:48 a.m.

The victim’s name wasn’t released. But Morro Bay Harbor Director Eric Endersby said that the man was 31 years old and that officials had identified him and notified his next of kin.


The man’s car was found parked in a dirt lot on the south side of Morro Creek, Endersby said Saturday.

A 31-year-old man was killed by a shark off the Morro Bay coast in what is believed to be San Luis Obispo County’s first such fatality in 18 years.

Dec. 24, 2021

Endersby told the San Luis Obispo Tribune that there were no witnesses to the attack, although it was “definitely, clearly a shark attack” and probably involved a great white.

Endersby, a 28-year harbor patrol employee, recalled a few area shark attacks in the last 10 years, but not a death.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Nick Wapner was bitten by a great white shark on Jan. 9, 2019, off Montana de Oro State Park. Another attack also took place at the same beach in 2015 when a man in his 50s was believed to have been attacked by an 8- to 10-foot juvenile.

Endersby thinks the last shark attack death occurred in August 2003 when a 50-year-old woman was killed at Avila Beach.

Times staff writer Andrew J. Campa contributed to this report.