CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) – Support has been flowing in after the sudden death of Stan Searfus, a beloved surf coach in Coronado.
“Everyone’s just shocked,” said Bryan Guter, a manager at Emerald City Surf Shop.
Guter says the shop would often sponsor surf competitions organized by Searfus.
The owners of the shop also donated 5,000 dollars to a GoFundMe campaign, to raise money for Searfus’s widow and six children.
Searfus was pulled from the water off Sunset Cliffs Thursday morning while surfing with a friend.
He was widely known in Coronado through work as a surfing instructor at Coronado High School and Coronado Middle School. He also founded Blue Wave Coronado Surf Camp.
“He never seemed sad or angry. I just saw him happy,” said Meghan Grossmann while wiping away tears.
Grossmann said Searfus taught her how to surf when she was six years old and had been his student in the Coronado Middle School surf club.
But his influence on her and other young surfers went beyond just how to handle a wave.
“He made everyone’s lives better and he showed us how to be a better person.”
“Everybody loved him,” said Sabrina Ward, the manager at Chez Loma where Searfus also worked as a server.
Inside the restaurant, they had set up a small memorial with flowers, candles and pictures.
Ward said he had just worked a shift on Thursday, the night before he passed away.
“He was a busy guy working hard supporting his family,” said Ward.