Thousands of people gathered in Newport Beach, California this weekend to honor lifeguard Ben Carlson, who died last week while attempting to rescue a struggling swimmer. Carlson was a 15-year veteran of the Newport Beach Lifeguards and he became the first city lifeguard to die in the line of duty. City spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said about 5,000 mourners and supporters watched from the pier and shore as about 2,500 people took boats and boards. They made their way out past the breakers where they formed a circle and chanted, “Ben, Ben, Ben” to honor Carlson’s life and connection to the sea.
32-year-old Ben Carlson died after he had jumped into the ocean from a rescue boat that had responded to save a swimmer who was struggling in 6 to 8-foot waves. Both men were hit by a large wave in the midst of the rescue attempt. Other rescuers were able to pull the swimmer out but were not able to rescue Carlson. (Source: Bob Burnside) Share this amazing show of respect with your friends and family below.