An ocean tribute for surfer and musician Eric Reno was held on Sunday in Sunset Beach, drawing about 200 friends and loved ones to the quaint Orange County beach community for a final farewell.
After a night of rain, the skies cleared Sunday morning for the tribute in front of Reno’s home. Forty-seven people entered the water for the memorial in honor of Reno, a 46-year-old who was pulled from the water while out surfing on April 21.
The Orange County Coroner’s Office has not released a cause of death.
Reno’s uncle, Alex Kiilehua of Corona, delivered a prayer to the crowd gathered for a paddle out in Reno’s honor.
“We are gathered here as his family and friends to return Eric to his beloved home – the sea. Eric is a child of the sea because here is where he drew his strength and where he found peace. Accept and receive him into your arms, Lord of the Sea, and love him as we do.”
His mother Rowena Reno watched the paddle out with Reno’s girlfriend Susanne Pelle at her side.
The sun shone as the sky cleared long enough for the life celebration. The crowd marveled as a dolphin played in the sea as the paddle-out circle formed.
“I feel overwhelmed with the friendship and love for my son. It warmed my heart. This is where he loved to be. Surfing was his life, ” said Rowena Reno.
Reno’s cousin, Will Mulcahy of Long Beach, paddled out on the blue board that Eric rode the day he died – a board that Mulcahy had loaned to him.
“It was beautiful,” said Mulcahy after the paddle out, “It was perfect. Eric was just a beautiful person. All of us felt him.”