Family Of Solana Beach Shark Attack Victim: “He Died Doing What He Liked”

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As reported on

SOLANA BEACH – The family of the retired veterinarian killed in a shark attack spoke publicly for the first time at a news conference Sunday.

Jeff Martin said his father, David, “died doing what he liked, surrounded by friends, in a place he loved. Even through our grief, this gives us an inner peace.”

Martin was surrounded by about a dozen relatives, who stood silently and held sunflowers, which they later placed on a fence facing the beach.

“As a Christian family, we believe that our dad is in heaven and that we will see him again some day,” Martin said. “We appreciate your continued prayers and support.”

David Martin, 66, a longtime Solana Beach resident, was killed shortly after 7 a.m. Friday in Fletcher Cove while taking a training swim with eight members of the Triathlon Club of San Diego.

Authorities issued an unprecedented warning for the public to avoid entering the ocean along eight miles of coastline from the northern part of Torrey Pines State Beach to South Carlsbad State Beach following the attack. The advisory was to remain in effect until 7 a.m. Monday despite the weekend heat wave.

Sunday, there were a few dozen, most of whom heeded the warning and stayed out of the water. Because it was an advisory, lifeguards said they could not stop anyone from entering the water.

On Saturday, dozens of surfers ignored the warning and went in. Among them was Jeff Martin.

“I’m taking my boys out tomorrow, if it’s open,” he said, adding that is what his father would have wanted him to do.