Lifeguards, family and friends said goodbye to a fallen Mission Beach lifeguard with a paddle out ceremony at Windansea Beach on Saturday.
Chloe Buckley was killed in a car crash earlier this month. Hugs, tears and cheers could best summarize the mix of emotions at Buckley’s celebration of life.
“It’s been a devastatingly difficult time, not just for the family but the entire community,” family friend Scot Cherry said.
In addition to working as a lifeguard, Chloe Buckley was also a professional surfer on the ASP World Tour competing in events around the globe.
“She would do anything,” said Billy Watson, Buckley’s former co-worker. “She would put on funny costumes and was always positive, you know, and kind of taught everyone how to live a full life, to go out and do what you like and love.”
Paddle-out memorials traditionally honor surfers and those who shared a love for the ocean.
At the ceremony, friends, family and the lifeguard community placed flowers around her ashes and signed a surfboard to say goodbye one last time.
I think that people will miss most about Chloe is her presence … she was one of those extraordinary people that her presence brought a light into any situation,” Cherry said.
Also at the ceremony was interim Chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s Lifeguard Division James Gartland.
“The lifeguard and fire family have rallied around one another,” he said. ‘They’ve supported each other in a time of loss of one of their own.”
Before every one paddled out to one of the places Buckley loved the most and spread her ashes in the ocean, her family received a final blessing on the beach.
A small gathering was held a day before at Torrey Pines Church, where a slideshow and interview of Buckley were shown.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in her honor.
Photo Credit: NBC 7
Source: NBC San Diego