The surf club at UCSB organized a sunset paddle out last night off Isla Vista to honor the six students who died in the rampage last week. The Daily Nexus says thousands were on the beach or in the water. Kevin Ingraham posted the video to YouTube; the soundtrack is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" performed by the late Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. Yes, those are floating sofas out among the surfers. Just to add a little more Southern California flavor to the event, on the video you can see pelicans diving for fish inside the ring of surfers.
Santa Barbara County lifeguards volunteered to monitor those in the water. From the Daily Nexus story:
The UCSB Surf Team organized the paddle-out as a way to further the healing process among those affected by the tragic events that took place Friday night in I.V. The paddle-out was publicized through word of mouth and Facebook, where 2,900 people identified themselves as attending the event.
Students flocked to the beach between Campus Point and Camino Pescadero at 6:30 p.m. Of those who entered the water, most used surfboards as a means of flotation, but others used paddleboards, kayaks and inflatable rafts. These students then attempted to form a circle about 50 yards offshore.
Flowers were available in buckets along the beach to all in attendance and lifeguards were stationed across the beach and in the water in case of emergency. Many memorial participants formed a large circle in the water, many carrying a flower with them, and I.V. community members and students who did not take part in the paddle-out watched from the beach.
Bradley Martin, a fourth-year anthropology major and member of the UCSB Surf Club, said he did not anticipate such a large turnout at yesterday’s paddle-out. “I am shocked how many people actually are here right now, I cannot even begin to estimate today’s attendance,” Martin said. “It is just a testament to the strength and resilience of the community. It is great to see everyone coming together to create a calm environment where we can all celebrate one another and honor those we lost this past week.”
Screen grab from video.
The parents of shooter Elliot Rodger made a statement through a family friend on NBC's "Today" this morning.
“We are crying in pain for the victims and their families. It breaks out hearts on a level that we didn’t think possible. The feeling of knowing that it was our son’s actions that caused the tragedy can only be described as hell on earth," the statement reads. "It is now our responsibility to do everything we can to help avoid this happening to any other family. Not only to avoid more innocence destroyed, but also to identify and deal with the mental issues that drove our son to do what he did.”