Support VESL on the Paddle Ben Did Go Paddle 8.0!

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A nonprofit fundraiser supporting

Ben Carlson Foundation
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Join me in supporting the Ben Carlson Memorial & Scholarship Foundation in honor of Ben!


raised by 12 people

$1,500 goal

In its 8th year, the Ben Did Go Paddle is set to take place on Saturday, September 16. I will be paddling about 32 miles from Catalina to Newport Beach in honor of our local hero, Ben Carlson. 

Ben's Story: It occurred at the end of a busy 4th of July weekend that was marked by warm conditions, abnormally large and turbulent surf, and giant crowds. Newport Beach Lifeguards made 562 rescues that holiday weekend. Many of those were dramatic lifesaving events that resulted in relieved and reunited families, but the next rescue would not.   At 5:15 pm, Newport Beach Lifeguards Ben Carlson and Gary Conwell were patrolling beyond the large surf in a NBLG rescue boat when they spotted a distressed swimmer. Ben jumped from the boat and after a long swim made contact with the man.  As they began to make their way back out to the rescue boat, both were hit by a large wave and taken over the falls.  

The distressed swimmer made it to the surface and was rescued, but Ben was missing. A 3 hour search ensued that included members from 7 agencies including Newport Beach Lifeguards, Fire, Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol, Huntington Beach Lifeguards, Laguna Beach Lifeguards and State Parks. Ben was eventually located more than a half a mile away from the original rescue location at 8 pm and was transported by Newport Beach Paramedics to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased. He was the first and only Newport Beach Lifeguard to die in the line of duty since the service was formed in 1923. 

I hope you'll join me in raising money for this worthy cause that helps support junior lifeguards and honors Ben's legacy. 

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Ben Carlson Foundation


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