Chris Brown
© Scott Gibson

While foul play was ruled out by investigators, information released today regarding the cause of death of beloved surfer and commercial fisherman Chris Brown, 48, has darkened the waves of grief felt by family, friends, and admirers since his body was discovered January 19 at the base of the seacliff east of Hendry’s Beach.

Brown “was under the influence of a high level of methamphetamine” when he fell from the blufftop Douglas Family Preserve to the rocky shoreline, where he drowned, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Bureau. Brown “sustained blunt force injuries that were significant enough that he was unable to remove himself from the surfline and drowned as a result,” according to the press release. “Other significant conditions [found in the autopsy] include Acute Methamphetamine Intoxication.”

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on February 16 at Calvary Chapel of Santa Barbara, followed by a paddle-out from the Santa Barbara Harbor sandspit. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for Brown’s 22-year-old daughter, Chloe Brown.


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