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Peers paddle out for drowned Hapmstead surfer...



Peers paddle out for drown Hapmstead surfer

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 September, 2010 : - - A few drops of rain matched the tears shed by family as dozens of surfers paddled out into the ocean Sunday afternoon to show respect for one of their own. Kurt Murray, 21, of Marcil Lane in Hampstead, died in high surf near the Surf City Pier at 2 p.m. Sept. 19. He fell off his board, didn’t resurface on his own and had to be pulled from the water. He later died at Cape Fear Hospital in Wilmington.

To honor his memory, friends and fellow surfers gathered at the public beach access at the end of Roland Avenue a week after his death. Wreaths, flowers, photographic portraits of Murray riding waves, and a bottle of gold tequila with one swallow left surrounded a six-foot-tall white cross with people’s written thoughts and prayers signed in permanent marker.

“That was my son; he was a cool cat,” Murray’s mother, Kelly Murray told a young blonde-headed boy who stared at a portrait of Murray cresting a wave on his surf board. Murray’s friend since grade school, Kyle Sumer said Murray was well known and equally liked.  “Just look at the people here,” he said. “It’s a sad time, but his death brought all of us together.”

Sumer said the paddle out was the most respectful thing the community could do to honor Murray, a young man who lived to surf.

At 5:30 p.m., with hundreds of people lining the beach access, nearby restaurant verandas, house balconies and stretched along the pier, dozens of surfers paddled out into the ocean. With the surfers in a circle, Murray’s family released a fabricated seashell containing his ashes. The shell filled with water and slowly sank to the bottom of the ocean where it will eventually dissolve.

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