Hundreds gather to honor Junior Seau with a traditional paddle out
Scores of surfers and hundreds of onlookers gathered along South Strand in Oceanside for a traditional surfers "paddle out" to honor former San Diego Charger Junior Seau who died earlier in the week from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Scores of surfers took part in a traditional "paddle out" to honor the life of former San Diego Charger Junior Seau, while hundreds more lined South Strand in Oceanside. Seau, who grew up in Oceanside and lived on South Strand, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound earlier in the week.
The paddle out took place in front of the home where Seau had lived and where a memorial has grown as friends and fans have left flowers, cards, pictures and more. More than just a football hero, Seau gave back to his Oceanside community and many people will remember him as much for that as for sports.
The paddle out began with the arrival of three outrigger canoes, escorted by Oceanside Lifeguards. More than one hundred people of all ages joined in on long boards, short boards, paddle boards and kayaks. The group formed a huge circle and held hands while prayers were offered, then those who had brought along flowers tossed them into the ocean. Afterwards the group chanted, cheered and splashed water, with the crowd roaring in response. People along the strand joined in a final "wave" to remember Seau.