Peter Davi of Monterey lost his board and was attempting to swim to shore, but never made it, according to onlookers. Friends of the 45-year-old Davi lost sight of him and later found him floating in the water unconscious.
Monterey County Sheriff's Sgt. Dennis English said a department search and rescue team responded to a report of a surfer in distress, but Davi was dead by the time the team got to Pebble Beach.
"It's just extremely high surf. Waves are crashing against the rocks, kind of dangerous," he said. "It's primo conditions for surfers."
According to the Mavericks big wave surfing contest Web site, Davi was one of the early pack of brave surfers to test themselves at Mavericks after word got around about its massive waves.
Jeff Clark, surfed Mavericks alone for 15 years before sharing his secret with close friends — including Davi. Clark described Davi as a "rambunctious big wave rider" together he and Davi had shared a bunch of surf trips and campaigned the huge surf at Mavericks each winter.
(Homer Henard and Adam Replogle, both from Santa Cruz, Calif., look on as CPR is performed on Peter Davi, who drowned while surfing in Pebble Beach, Calif., Tuesday. Monterey County Herald photo by Vern Fisher via AP)
"He was one of the early guys that I was able to convince to come up and surf Mavericks with me. He was like blown away at how big a wave it was," Clark said.
Davi's death came just days before the waiting period was set to open for the big wave surf contest at Mavericks off the shore of Half Moon Bay, where equally large swells rolled in Tuesday.
The epic surf also attracted onlookers who had to be chased off cliffside property in exclusive Pebble Beach, English said. California Highway Patrol officers were called in to ticket motorists who flooded the scenic 17-mile Drive.
A high surf advisory was in place for the coastal Bay Area Tuesday, issued by the National
Weather Service. And we all know how those repor
ts will get any surfer frothing, whether you are paddling out or just watching.
In Santa Cruz, lifeguards had to evacuate at least four surfers from the Mitchell's Cove surf spot after high tide rolled in.
Further north, the U.S. Coast Guard and the San Mateo Sheriff's Department searched for a fishing vessel with two people aboard off Pillar Point.
Clark spoke about the dangers of taking to the waves on a day when advisories were in effect and rough swells were the norm along the coast.
"The ocean is a place that really has no conscience. It's something you have to be prepared for. You live your life to the fullest, do the best you can and keep going," he said. - Source: By Your Local Surf