The attack was swift and deadly. A shark expert who examined the mangled body said the bite marks showed the classic pattern of a great white: Strike from underneath and then retreat quickly.I used to be in the water all the time when I was in high school, boogie-boarding and swimming.
Despite attempts by lifeguards at resuscitation, retired veterinarian Dave Martin, 66, a dedicated triathlete who swam every Friday with other fitness buffs, was declared dead just minutes after he was pulled from the water.
A shark estimated at 12 to 17 feet in length had bitten both his thighs, leading to massive bleeding, rescue personnel said. Martin's death left friends, beach lovers and fellow competitive swimmers in shock.
Though sharks are known to roam the ocean off Southern California, and millions of people swim in the waters annually, this was the first death attributed to a shark attack in San Diego County since 1994.
Officials immediately placed a 72-hour off-limits designation on an eight-mile stretch of the ocean from Torrey Pines to South Carlsbad, prime swimming and surfing territory.
Surfers just as quickly ignored the warnings and got in the water.
"Jaws" was always in the background, of course, but I tried not to think about it.