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Surfers mourn death of actor Paul Walker

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The details surrounding the death of Paul Walker (40) are altogether shocking. Initially, a media conglomerate released a hoax article alluding to Paul Walker’s death. Even though the initial report was untimely and fictitious, Paul Walker was in an actual accident the very next day, which resulted in his loss of life. Paul Walker went for a joyride just outside his charity event for Reach Out Worldwide on November 30, 2013, with longtime friend and Pirelli racecar driver, Roger Rodas. At 3:30pm, the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT which Rodas was driving crashed into a post, exploded on impact, and burst into flames. Both passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. Since Rodas was a professional driver, friends were dumbfounded. Although the accident is still being investigated, police officers reported that speed was an obvious factor. An autopsy has yet to be performed because the bodies were badly burned, and dental records are being obtained.

Even more shocking than a life cut short, is the life that Paul Walker lived away from the cameras. An enigma in Hollywood, Paul Walker was more of a public servant than a limelight aficionado. When he was not spending his time as a father, philanthropist, or driving fast, he preferred to be in the ocean. Although Paul Walker was widely known for his role in the Fast and the Furious film series, what most people did not know about the actor was his passion for marine biology. Walker was raised in California and like many, became an avid surfer. He even majored in marine biology at community college long before his portrayal of undercover police officer, Brian O’Connor. Walker named admiration for French oceanographer and conservationist, Jacques Cousteau. In 2005, he decided to star alongside Jessica Alba in Into the Blue largely because it allowed him ample time underwater. He also spent 11 days off the Mexican coast catching great white sharks with a National Geographic crew. His last day was spent at a charity event to support relief efforts for the aftermath of the Philippine’s typhoon. In an interview with a German reporter (fabela iMag), Paul Walker spoke of the mystery of the ocean:

The sea is just a big mystery, really. There are things that are more alien in the ocean than I think are probably alien up in space. It seems like every other day there’s a new discovery. You look at it and you’re like, ‘Really, that’s from this planet?’ Things that are so bizarre. You know, we’re finding creatures living at depths that we thought were completely impossible. They’re living by sea vents where the temperature is so hot that we thought it would basically sterilize the water, so to find anything living in those environments is mind-blowing. And if it’s not the depths, it’s something in the sand, it’s a crazy octopus that was never before realized or identified. I like that. As much as we like to think we know, it’s just a reminder of how little we actually do.”

Meanwhile, production of the seventh Fast and the Furious movie has slowed. Co-stars like Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson visited the memorial site. Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel affectionately called him “brother.” Universal and Walker’s publicist both expressed their heartfelt sentiments. Fans have set up a memorial at the crash site and have supported his charity, Reach Out Worldwide. But for surfers, grieving Paul Walker has been especially difficult. This year alone, surfers have mourned the loss of Kirk Passmore, Buttons Kaluhiokalani, and now, Paul Walker. Unfortunately, the culmination of their grief is not as mysterious as the ocean. From beyond the grave in an Extra interview, Paul offers hope and eloquent advice applicable to those surfers in mourning:

It’s when you stay flat backed, you get into it and you buy into the disparity of it all, that’s when you’re screwed. You get up, and you keep going. You're going to find purpose again. You're going to find a sense of self again. You're going to figure out what's up and what's going on, and what it’s really all about.”

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TMZ crash video footage (not appropriate for all audiences):



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