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Local News

Body Found on Arroyo Burro Beach Identified as Santa Barbara Man

Police say 48-year-old Gordon Jennell most likely suffered a medical problem while surfing

The body of a man found washed ashore on Arroyo Burro Beach on Thursday afternoon has been identified as Gordon Alan Jennell, 48, of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Police Department said in a statement Friday.

According to the family, the statement said, Jennell was a regular surfer at local beaches, and was discovered floating face down in the surf, wearing a wetsuit.

Santa Barbara police and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department responded about 1:15 p.m. Thursday to 100 Mesa Lane and then down the beach path.

Bystander Tara Folsom, 27, told Noozhawk she had been walking down to the beach when she discovered the man’s body. She said her dog was sniffing something in the water, and she realized the body was floating face down in 3 to 4 inches of water.

After calling 9-1-1, she said she and two other bystanders pulled the man to shore. He had a cut on his head.

On Friday morning, a surfboard was reported abandoned near Arroyo Burro Beach, and police recovered a 9-foot surfboard. They said it was the same one reported Thursday.

Foul play is not suspected, and that it’s likely a medical problem occurred while the man was surfing.

After discovering the body, police found an unlocked 2004 Ford Ranger pickup truck parked near the top of path that led to the beach where Jennell was found. Inside was a wallet with identification that matched the victim, and the coroner has released the truck to the victim’s family.

The exact cause of death, to be determined by the Coroner’s Office, has not been released.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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