A memorial paddle out pushes off at dawn Thursday in Seal Beach to remember Mike Morgan, who grew up in Long Beach, became a nationally ranked surfer and coach, and in the '90s began a new career as a surf contest announcer. It's amazing that he's being honored six years after he passed away at age 44, even more so when you consider the Mike Morgan Wave of the Day Paddle Out benefits something he knew nothing about.
Proceeds from t-shirts sold at the paddle out go to the Seal Beach Victims Fund that trustees set up for the families of those killed in October's Salon Meritage massacre. It's been announced the trust is closing at the end of the year so, hopefully, the paddle out can give it one more jolt of financial aloha. You can bet Morgan would have wanted it that way.
Friends like announcing sidekick Rick "Rockin' Fig" Fignetti described Morgan as one of the most colorful figures on the local surf scene. His death in 2005 produced a memorial paddle out near Huntington Beach Pier that drew 300 surfers.
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Participants at and visitors to Thursday's paddle out are parking in the Seal Beach Pier's southside lot and gathering just south of the pier for "coffee and chat" at 7 a.m. Photos will be snapped and remembrances shared beginning at 8 a.m. The paddle out runs from 9-10 a.m. You are free to bring flowers, but don't leave without a t-shirt!
Visit MorganPaddleOut.com for more details.