Friends, family farewell and celebrate WA shark attack victim Ben Linden

pn ben linden paddle out

OCEAN FAREWELL. Friends of shark attack victim Ben Linden today did a “paddle out” at Brighton to pay their respects to a young surfer who loved the ocean. Picture: Bohdan Warchomij
Source: PerthNow


pn ben linden paddle out

OCEAN FAREWELL. Friends of shark attack victim Ben Linden today did a “paddle out” at Brighton to pay their respects to a young surfer who loved the ocean. Picture: Bohdan Warchomij
Source: PerthNow


pn ben linden paddle out

OCEAN FAREWELL. Friends of shark attack victim Ben Linden today did a “paddle out” at Brighton to pay their respects to a young surfer who loved the ocean. Picture: Bohdan Warchomij
Source: PerthNow


pn ben linden paddle out

OCEAN FAREWELL. Friends of shark attack victim Ben Linden today did a “paddle out” at Brighton to pay their respects to a young surfer who loved the ocean. Picture: Bohdan Warchomij
Source: PerthNow


Ben Linden

OCEAN FAREWELL. Friends of shark attack victim Ben Linden today did a “paddle out” at Brighton to pay their respects to a young surfie who loved the ocean.
Source: PerthNow


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pn ben linden paddle out

OCEAN FAREWELL. Friends of shark attack victim Ben Linden did a “paddle out” at Brighton and signed a surfboard to pay their respects to a young mate who loved the ocean. Picture: Bohdan Warchomij
Source: PerthNow


pn ben linden paddle out

SOULMATE: Girlfriend Alana Noakes says she has lost her soulmate but was grateful for eight years of memories. Picture: Bohdan Warchomij
Source: PerthNow


pn ben linden paddle out

GODFATHER: Reverend John Hewitson said goodbye to a much-loved godson. Picture: Bohdan Warchomij
Source: PerthNow


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BEN Linden was baptised in water. He lived in the water and today he was farewelled and celebrated in the water.


About 300 people turned out today to take part in a “paddle out” gathering at Brighton Beach this morning for a young man fondly remembered as “Big Red” by his close mates.

Among the crowd at the beach this morning to farewell and celebrate WA’s latest shark attack victim were dozens of Mr Linden’s friends and family, his band mates, his surfing mates, his godfather Reverend John Hewitson, his elder sister Kelli and his girlfriend Alana Noakes.

Those who gathered on the pristine sandy beach under a picturesque blue sky this morning were able to sign a surfboard and write messages on it before it was brought into the water.

Soon afterwards up to 100 surfers jumped onto their boards and ventured into the cool waters to form a ceremonial ring as a bagpiper played Waltzing Matilda on top of the sand dunes.

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BEN LINDEN PADDLE






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It was a fitting and emotional farewell ceremony for Mr Linden, 24, who tragically became WA’s fifth fatal shark attack victim in just 10 months when he was attacked at Wedge Island, north of Perth two weeks ago.

A talented musician and cabinetmaker by trade, he was taken by a 4m white pointer just 200m from shore about 9am on July 14.

Revd Hewitson said he was amazed at today’s turnout for his beloved godchild.

“Many people have been touched by this tragedy,” he said.

“Today in Ben’s life and death we celebrate that love conquers death, life conquers fear, peace transforms terror and that through Ben’s life we are challenged to stay stoked and to live and love abundantly.”

Ms Noakes said she had lost her soulmate and her best friend.

“Two weeks ago I lost the love of my life, my best friend, my rock, my inspiration,” Ms Noakes told the crowd.

“But I am so grateful to have spent the last eight years creating memories and savouring every moment of being with Ben.

“I am honoured to have grown up with him and most of all to have been loved by him.

“It is because of this that I am the luckiest person in the world.”

Mr Linden’s sister Kelli also read a poem at today’s gathering.

In part it read: “You were frothing from the day you were born I reckon…riding the waves is going to be more lonely now.”

A letter written by one of Mr Linden’s best mates, Peter Tuckey, who was unable to be at today’s gathering, was also read out: “We never know when our clock is going to stop ticking,” the letter read.

“But if we did, we would live life to the fullest and Big Red was a living flagship of this statement.

“Let the sweet sounds of the ocean be your tune forever brother.”
 

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