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Surfer who died in Pismo Beach last week did not suffer head injury, family says

Posted at 8:05 PM, May 22, 2020

The family of the surfer who was pulled from the water unconscious and died in Pismo Beach last week is revealing new information about this death.

Authorities told KSBY News that 54-year-old Grant Nordwall suffered a head injury while surfing last Friday. Emergency crews reportedly performed CPR on Nordwall until medics arrived, but he was pronounced dead at the scene; however, Nordwall's daughter, Jubilee, said autopsy results released Tuesday show he died of a sudden heart attack while surfing.

Nordwall, of Nipomo, was surfing with two of his children, ages 13 and 24, at the time of his death. "My dad was a true old-school soul surfer who passed away doing what he loved with his beloved children," Jubliee said to KSBY in an email.

She wrote to KSBY News to set the record straight because the family "wouldn't want anyone to view the event as demonstrating the dangers of surfing. He found peace among the waves, and wanted others to do the same," the email stated.

Nordwall was born in Monterey and moved around quite a bit as the son of a U.S. Navy sailor, but "his love for the laid-back culture and surfing" eventually pulled him back to the Central Coast to attend Cal Poly. He graduated in 1987.

Nordwall and his high-school-sweetheart wife, Camille, were married 34 years and raised seven children.

"He was invested in the community of Harvest Church, played live music events with local musicians, and surfed as often as possible. He will be missed by his family and community, and remembered for his immense capacity to love, hope, laugh, and find joy in every situation," his daughter wrote.