Santa Barbara police have identified the drowning victim found Wednesday morning below Stearns Wharf as a 42-year-old homeless man. His name will not be released until his family is tracked down and notified, but Sgt. Riley Harwood said he was well-known to city police for a number of prior alcohol-related offenses.
Harwood said city wharf workers called Harbor Patrol at 7:54 a.m. when they heard two women screaming about a body face-down in the ocean. Harbor Patrol rushed to the scene and pulled the man from the water. He was transported to the boat ramp where officers attempted to resuscitate him, but he was declared dead at the scene, Harwood said.
Surveillance video showed the man walking alone on the wharf at approximately 1:30 a.m. earlier that morning, Harwood said. He appeared to be staggering. The man disappeared from the video frame at one point and never returned into view, Harwood said, explaining alcohol may have been a factor in the incident. No foul play is suspected. A coroner’s report is pending.