Man killed in Morro Bay shark attack is identified by family

The man killed in a shark attack in Morro Bay on Christmas Eve was a quiet, introverted resident of Sacramento who loved the water, according to his uncle.

Grant Butterfield spoke to The Times on the phone and identified 41-year-old Tomas Butterfield as the victim of the attack, which took place around 6 p.m. 10:45 on December 24th.

He has not yet been officially identified by the San Luis Obispo County Funeral Service. Authorities have previously said the victim was 31 years old.

Tomas Butterfield was born in Pittsburg, California, his uncle said. When his parents divorced, he and his brother, Benjamin, stayed with their mother, Maria, who moved with her sons a few times before settling in Ketchikan, Alaska, where Tomas attended high school.

“I think it’s probably here, his love of the ocean and fishing, whatever water, probably evolved – up in Alaska,” Grant Butterfield said.

After the divorce, Tomas was close to both his parents, his uncle said. Maria eventually settled in Morro Bay. Scott Butterfield, father of Tomas and Benjamin, lives in Sacramento.

At the time of his death, Tomas lived in Sacramento and worked for his father, his uncle said.

“He was down in Morro to spend the holiday weekend with his mother, and his brother, Ben, came over from Sanger,” Grant Butterfield said. “He visited his mother that Thursday. Friday morning he decided to go out to sea and did not return.”

Grant Butterfield said he was at a Christmas Eve dinner when he was called by Tomas’ father, who told him what happened. He left dinner almost immediately and called Benjamin to see if there was anything he could do.

Tomas’ parents and brother have been crushed over the loss, but are recovering, Grant said.

“When I talked to Ben today, he said he’s feeling better,” he said. “His mother is deeply, deeply invested in the Catholic Church down there. She has that support system to herself. Scott is broken into a thousand small pieces. “

Tomas was on boogieboarding at the time of the attack and was brought ashore by a surfer, according to authorities. Firefighters and police arrived at the scene at. 10.48, and ambulance people declared him dead.

A prime minister for fish and wildlife was present to determine the type and size of the shark, officials said. An official at Morro Bay Harbor said the attack likely involved a white shark.

The incident is believed to be San Luis Obispo County’s first fatal shark attack in 18 years.

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