Unidentified Boogie Boarder Dies Sunday Night After Being Pulled from Surf off Voltaire Street

by on March 4, 2013 · 6 comments

in Environment, Life Events, Ocean Beach

UPDATE:  Boogie Boarder identified as 62 year old Vernon Taniguchi of San Diego.

Authorities released the name of a 62-year-old man who died for undetermined reasons last weekend while body-boarding off the coast of Ocean Beach.

 A surfer found Vernon Taniguchi of San Diego unconscious and floating offshore from the western terminus of Voltaire Street about 6 p.m. Sunday and pulled him to shore, according to the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

An unidentified male boogie boarder was pulled from the surf Sunday, March 3rd, unconscious.  He had been spotted off the shore near Voltaire Street in north OB. CPR was administered but to no avail as he died about an hour later.

The county Medical Examiner’s Office is trying to determine his identity.

Just before 7pm, a surfer found the guy, and pulled him to the beach, where a bystander performed CPR on him, before medics arrived. The medics then took the man to UCSD Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:58 p.m., the Medical Examiner’s Office reported.

His name and age were not immediately known.

From County Medical Examiner:

Case Number: 13-00569

Name: Next of kin not notified

DOB: Gender: Male

Place of Death: 200 W. Arbor Drive, San Diego CA

Place of injury: Western terminus of Voltaire Street, San Diego CA

Date/Time of Death: 3/3/2013 6:58:00 PM

Date/Time injury: 3/3/2013 1800

Summary: The decedent was an unidentified male of unknown race and age who on 3/3/2013 was found unresponsive on a boogie board by a surfer in Pacific Beach [sic]. 911 was called and first responders transported the decedent to the hospital with CPR in progress. Despite aggressive resuscitative efforts, he could not be revived and death was pronounced. Identification has not been confirmed and an examination has not yet been scheduled.

Cause of Death/Updated Cause of Death:

Contributing Conditions:


Investigating Agency: San Diego Police Next of kin notified? No

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lester Burnham March 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm

It’s Voltaire not Voltarie. RIP boogie border.


Don March 5, 2013 at 12:02 am

There were actually 4 or 5 people pulling the man to shore, myself included, using the board to help get him in. One of them was another surfer who was the one initially trying to bring him to shore. The man on the boogieboard was wearing some shop goggles with shoelaces tied on them. Makes me wonder if he was out there looking at sea life and not boogieboarding. He was also wearing fins and a wetsuit. The SD fire & rescue/Lifeguards arrived quickly and did a tremendous job trying to save this man.


Don March 5, 2013 at 12:04 am

Not sure why the article mentions Pacific Beach. This happened at Dog Beach in O.B.


Frank Gormlie March 5, 2013 at 11:23 am

Don – thanks for your efforts to save the guy. We know it was OB – but some news reports cited PB, don’t know why. Thanks for the update.


gailpowell March 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm

My son and I talked with a fireman from Engine Station #15 this morning at Stumps Market. This medic was on duty when the 911 call for this emergency came in. He told us that the wetsuit-clad boogie-boarder appeared to me a middle-aged man that may have suffered a health emergency in the water. I am thinking probably a heart attack or seizure. The first responders were very frustrated that they had no way to identify the victim when they transported him to the hospital. Very sad indeed.


Frank Gormlie March 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Thanks Gail for the update.


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