A surfer who frequents Swami’s State Beach in Encinitas made a grisly discovery Friday morning: the lifeless body of a fellow surfer who had washed ashore, officials confirmed.
State lifeguards, Encinitas Fire Department officials and deputies from the North Coastal Sheriff's Station were alerted around 5:10 a.m. about the body found near the shoreline located at 1298 South Coast Highway 101, approximately 26 miles north of downtown San Diego.
When investigators arrived at the beach, they discovered the surfer's body covered in kelp. Near him, officials also found a broken surfboard.
The medical examiner's office identified the deceased surfer as Kenneth A . Mann, a 61-year-old Encinitas resident.
The sheriff's department said Mann was wearing a wetsuit and was still attached to his surfboard by the leash.
Other surfers who regularly visit Swami’s State Beach told NBC 7 avid surfers frequent that spot in the very early hours of the morning to catch good waves, especially during a Full Moon, sometimes using the moonlight as their guide.
Several regulars at the beach said the surfer who found the body tried to see if he personally knew the victim, but the man's face was swollen beyond recognition.
Many of those surfers feared the man found dead near the waves is one of their surfing buddies.
"It's devastating -- absolutely devastating," local surfer Mike Tedesco told NBC 7. "My heart goes out to them and their family and their whole community. It's unthinkable."
The medical examiner has not yet determined Mann's cause and manner of death.