Well-Known Point Loma Surfer, Barry Ault, Dies From Staph Infection Out of Sunset Cliffs Waters

by on January 5, 2015 · 7 comments

in Environment, Health, Ocean Beach

Barry Ault surfer

Photo from KelpFire

Local Surfer Barry Ault Dies from Staph After Recent Rainfall – 2 Others Fall Ill

By Ken Lewis / KelpFire

Unfortunately this holiday was interrupted with the tragic news of the passing of one of San Diego’s finest surfers, Barry Ault.

Barry succumbed to a highly aggressive form of staph just days after he fell ill on Dec.23rd after surfing southern Sunset Cliffs.

Details are still sketchy as this story has been under-reported by the mainstream surf media.

While it is widely known to most surfers, some still do not heed the 72 hour rule of staying out of the ocean after heavy rains. The runoff from the San Diego River is a huge culprit of water pollution on a daily basis but the area south of the Point Loma Nazarene College is also something to look at. There are many gully’s and old dilapidated storm drains that come from the military base lining the cliffs.

Pesticides from the college and the National Cemetery along with the San Diego sewage treatment plant are also suspect after heavy rains.

If you have any flu like symptoms, tender spots, lumps on your joint areas or fever after surfing close to a rain event, go seek medical help immediately.


Additional information is provided by a surfer forum that reported Ault died at 8:35 a.m., and that two other surfers also fell sick after surfing “the lower cliffs”.  One had flu like symptoms and noticed a lump on his hip – which was lanced and cleaned by a doctor; and given heavy anti-biotics.

Needless to say, if you have surfed the cliffs over these last couple weeks particularly after the storms  and you are not feeling well – to go to your doctor and get checked out.

See update and obituary for Barry Ault

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie January 5, 2015 at 1:27 pm

This is so tragic, almost unspeakable with the scale of the loss of 2 local men, both surfers – Barry Ault and Kyle Witcowski – Kyle died Sat when his car went off the cliffs – within a few days of each other, each loss connected to the beautiful but dangerous Sunset Cliffs and its ocean.


Willie Witkowski January 5, 2015 at 2:31 pm

The Witkowski family, out of respect for the Ault family in their time of loss and mourning, requests that the Ault Family enjoy the dignity of having their family’s loss honored separate from any other loss, including our own. Thank you in advance for your consideration and cooperation.

William Witkowski & Family


Barbara January 5, 2015 at 8:27 pm

OMG! This is a horrible tragedy! When more of the information is available, let’s hope Barry Ault’s tragic death will also bring a warning and awareness to everyone about ocean pollution. My condolences go out to the family. I can’t imagine.


Nancy January 6, 2015 at 7:52 am

OMG…..my brother Danny, who is also a major surfer sportsman, had a very aggressive Staph infection as well. He also, like Barry, went surfing after a rain storm that had hit before Christmas. He has just come home from the hospital after spending a week undergoing serious antibiotic double-drip therapy, surgery and constant around the clock pain control! We are the lucky ones as Danny didn’t mess around trying to heal himself at home. Please, if you have a wound that does not seem to heal get to emergency at once! Your life could be in danger! This is no joke!


Stevie January 6, 2015 at 11:38 am

So sad. It’s a shame we can’t feel safe when surfing after a little rain


Anette January 6, 2015 at 1:17 pm

What a tragic loss ….. My condolences to Barry’s family.


Finn January 28, 2017 at 12:43 pm

So sad to hear. :( He will be greatly missed.


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