You may recall the details as reported by Sign0nSanDiego.com:
"The county's first fatal shark attack in a half-century focused worldwide attention on a stretch of coastline with no history of shark activity.
The attack occurred about 7 a.m. yesterday off Solana Beach, a community of about 13,000 known for its strong tradition of triathlon competition. One of those competitors, David Martin, 66, died while swimming with eight other members of the Triathlon Club of San Diego."
Those are the facts, but the story of Dave Martin (the retired vet and triathlete who died on that spring day) is a truly remarkable one told with elegance and grace in this incredible tale told by Tom Friend for ESPN:
"He'd been raised on an alfalfa farm in Riverside, Calif., and had become so fond of animals that he became a veterinarian. In the late-1960s, he flew to Solana Beach for a job interview, and his prospective boss never showed him the office -- he showed him a view.
They walked to the top of a steep set of stairs, overlooking a beach called Tide Park and a reef called Tabletops. The view, the clarity of the water, the blue horizon that went on interminably -- it took Dave's breath away. He accepted the job on the spot, bought a bungalow, raised a family.
His first-born, Jeff, took his first steps in the sand. Dave carved Jeff's first surfboard with his own hands, and showed him how to "hang 10" 100 yards off the coast, by Tabletops. They'd go to Hawaii, on family trips, and he'd tutor Jeff on the surf culture. One time in Oahu, he'd instructed Jeff to be aware of the locals, not to swipe their waves. But Big Dave, all 6-foot-2, 200 pounds of him, ended up intercepting a wave himself, and some locals chided him harshly. Jeff thought maybe his dad would end up in a brawl, but Dave was tame and non-confrontational, the type who never even honked his car horn in anger at another driver. When one of other surfers told Jeff, "Go for the next wave, brotha" -- mistaking Jeff for a local -- Dave simply paddled in to the beach and watched, grinning."
You can read the rest of the Story HERE along with more great photos and videos.