Fighting for His Life 7 Days in Sea, California Shark Attack Victim Identified as Tech CEO, Has a Strange Connection With Rare Surfing Sport

Published 10/10/2023, 2:21 PM EDT

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In the serene coastal haven of Marin County, California, a heart-breaking tragedy has occurred. A reported shark attack sent shockwaves through the surfing community, leaving a swimmer missing and his fate unknown. The incident unfolded on Sunday morning when a Gambian native was camping at Point Reyes to celebrate a friend’s wedding.

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The victim, along with his two friends, including the groom, waded into the serene waters of Wildcat Beach. Little did they know that this day would take a tragic turn. The relentless search for him continued for nearly seven agonizing days. Finally, his identity has been revealed. Not just a tech CEO, he is a man with a profound connection to surfing.

The missing person with a deep connection to surfing

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As KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco reported, the missing individual has been identified as Felix Louis N’Jai, though official confirmation from authorities is yet to come. His friends told authorities that he was reportedly attacked by a shark, with his two companions as helpless witnesses, and he never resurfaced.

Jim Kennan, a friend of the victim said, “A shark came up, grabbed Felix by the neck supposedly, brought them down and that was the last they saw. Two other guys rushed out of the water, turned around and they saw blood and some commotion in the water. But no Felix and that was it. The idea that there is no trace to be found of Felix is haunting.”

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According to Chris Lowe, a professor and head of the shark lab at California State University Long Beach, “Sharks normally abandon the attack when they realize it’s a human which is not their preferred prey. Because of this the body is almost always recovered.” And in this case, he was surprised because it was very odd, especially being relatively close to shore. For a body to completely disappear is very strange and rare.

Though the authorities have not confirmed that a shark attack actually occurred because there is no evidence to prove the same, the news reverberated through the community, particularly among the avid foil surfing enthusiasts of which N’Jai was a vibrant part.

His passion for the sport was contagious, and he could always be spotted in the water, be it kite surfing, kite foiling, or kiteboarding. One of his friends, Jos Cocquyt, who had known him for 13 years, summed it up perfectly, and said, “He had an impact that was well beyond the kite community. He was an inspiration to many. He was a mentor to many young people.” But N’Jai was not just a sports enthusiast; he was an aspiring entrepreneur and a Tech CEO.

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Felix Louis N’Jai beyond the waves

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Felix Louis N’Jai also made significant waves in the tech world. He skillfully balanced his love for adventure with his entrepreneurial pursuits. A close friend of two decades, Charlie Dietrich, shared with KTVU that N’Jai established himself as a tech entrepreneur in San Francisco two decades ago.

His professional profile on LinkedIn proudly proclaimed his role as the CEO of the innovative startup incubator, Eniac Labs.  As the search continues, Felix Louis N’Jai’s absence remains an irreplaceable void.  While the Coast Guard halted their search on Tuesday, the National Park Service continues to look for the missing person, terming it a “relief operation.”

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This leaves friends and family in agonizing anticipation, yearning for any glimmer of hope. In their grief, his friends remembered him for his warmth, his light, and the impact he had on their lives. They hope that his memory will not be overshadowed by sensationalism, but rather celebrated for the remarkable person he was. As the search is ongoing, his fate is yet to be determined.

Watch this story: Alpine Skiing Legend Lindsey Vonn Poisonous Faces the Wrath of Oceanic Creature While Enjoying her Surfing Spree

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Written by:

Christaline Meyers

930Articles

One take at a time

Christaline Meyers is a pro-writer for Essentially Sports. Having contributed to movies and web series, Christaline delved into sports journalism and like the puck on the ice, has been a force to be reckoned with in the US sports arena. Her experience in writing about the latest WSL event, the recent track and field record, and creative gymnastics routines, found her digging deeper into the minds of legends like Kelly Slater, Usain Bolt, and Simone Biles.
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Edited by:

Suman Varandani

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