A surfer collapsed on the sand and died at a La Jolla beach Wednesday, lifeguards confirmed.
Friends told NBC 7 the victim was well-known in the local surfing community and had surfed in the area for many years.
The man, identified by his family as Stephen Fujii, went out surfing with a friend near Calumet Park at approximately 7 a.m.
Initially lifeguards said the victim's friend looked over and noticed the surfer face down in the water.
However, lifeguards later corrected that information saying the Fujii's board was standing up on the beach and he was found collapsed on the sand.
When his friends went to check on him, he was unconscious, officials said.
CPR was initiated but Fujii was pronounced dead at the scene.
One teenager said the victim was a mentor to him. Ethan Schauer described Fujii as "super nice and laid back."
"He had a really relaxed style," Schauer said.
Check back for updates on this developing story.