The fisherman who was dragged out to sea by a riptide in Aptos on Friday has been identified.
The Santa Cruz County coroner identified the man as William Shaw, 47, of Oakland. Shaw was pronounced dead at Domincan Hospital shortly after lifeguards pulled him out of the ocean off Rio Del Mar Beach at 7 a.m. on Friday.
Shaw was wearing heavy fishing gear and boots usually worn by surf fishermen. He was struggling to swim as he was sucked into the ocean, witnesses said.
Surf fishing is a sport done by standing on the shore or wading in waist-deep water, and casting into the waves to catch fish. Fishermen who don't wear wader weight belts can be knocked over by powerful waves, lose their footing, or get dragged by a strong undertow.
Officials didn't say if Shaw was wearing a wader weight belt.