Tribute To A Hero

13 07 2014

On July 6, 2014, Southern California lost Ben Carlson, one of its heroes to the churning waters off 16th Street in Newport Beach.

Today, the community thanked Ben with what has to be one of the largest “paddle outs” ever.

Paddle Out for Ben Carlson -- 7/13/14

Waiting in Line for the Paddle Out for Ben Carlson — 7/13/14 — note the Crowd on the pier

Most people involved probably never met Ben, but they respect, admire and deeply appreciate his dedication that drew him into the “washing machine” that day to save a body surfer’s life.

Without going on, trying to act like I know more than I do about Ben or the situation, I just want to say thank you to Ben, his family, and all the lifeguards that serve day in and day out with little thanks.  Thank you!

Surfers and lifeguards (many of whom are surfers) have always had an interesting relationship, swimming side by side in heavy surf at times.  We as surfers need to say thank you to lifeguards each time we see them.  We never know when they will be dragging us to shore to give us another chance at life.