Surfers and water paddlers honor George Floyd out on the ocean

Posted at 1:13 PM, Jun 06, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The ocean can be a form of healing and the surfing community said healing is exactly what the world needs right now.

"People should just recognize other peoples struggles and stick together [...] it’s better to say something than to be quiet," said Chesapeake resident and protester, Isabella Navarro.

What appeared to be hundreds of people took to the ocean to "paddle out" for George Floyd, a man they never met. Over the past few weeks his death has sparked outrage across the country.

"It doesn’t matter like what race you are I think everybody is just sick and tired of it," said Virginia Beach resident and protester, Tristin Sullers.

Before the waves washed over their boards and their spirits, community members and activists shared their thoughts. Council member Aaron Rouse also took to the microphone.

"It’s to no longer [acceptable] remain silent. It's more than to show up - it’s to have these events with your friends, with your community whether it’s a surfing community or the skater community or business community. [It's important] that you’re having these conversations," he told News 3.

After opening words and a moment of silence for George Floyd, the crowd rushed into the ocean.

As part of Hawaiian tradition protesters formed a circle, said a few words and tossed flowers into the water. Then came the splashing and chanting, "No Justice, No Peace," a sign of respect to someone who lost their life.

"People definitely need to keep making noise until justice is brought," said Sullers.

Rouse also said, "every time I come to an event such as this I get a glimpse of what can be and what can consistently be when we come together and when we work together."

Their message, that black lives matter, echoing across the oceanfront.