Former professional surfer found dead on California beach

The body of former professional surfer Chris Brown was discovered washed up on a beach in Santa Barbara, California, on Saturday.

The Santa Barbara Police Department responded to an area east of Hendry’s Beach around 12 p.m. on Jan. 20 after the body of a middle-aged male was discovered by the shore, according to the Santa Barbara Independent.

Authorities were able to use fingerprints to identify the victim as 48-year-old Brown, a commercial fisherman and retired surfer. His death is currently under investigation.

Brown turned professional two years after winning the juniors division of the 1988 World Amateur Surfing Championships in Puerto Rico at the age of 17. At the peak of his career in the early 1990s, Brown was ranked among the top 25 professional surfers in the world, the Santa Barbara Independent reports.

Although Brown was renowned as a skilled athlete, those who were close to him say they remember him most for his vibrant personality.

"He was always stoked, his laugh and everything, it’s kind of an infectious vibe he had around people," Mike Jones, a friend of Brown's, told KSBY. "He always had a smile on his face."

Brown is survived by his wife and his 22-year-old daughter, Chloe. A GoFundMe has been set up to help his family cover unexpected costs.

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