Ben Carlson Paddle Memorial - Newport Beach - LA Times
This was a very sad, but incredibly powerful experience to be a part of. On July 4th, lifeguard Ben Carlson was caught in a 12-foot wave while trying to rescue another swimmer. He was the first lifeguard in Newport Beach to lose his life in the line of duty. The number of people that attended the paddle memorial was astounding. Literally thousands of people paddled out or watched the experience from the pier. It was so powerful to see how many people's lives Ben Carlson had impacted. I met his father (in blue with the surf board) and some of his close friends, who kept their heads held high and proud, showing respect to Ben's life and powerful ocean that took his life. My condolences go out to the families and friends that knew him and thank them for allowing me to share their story.