ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) — Hundreds of people went out to Moonlight Beach Wednesday night to honor the life of Stanley Wilson, an Encinitas teen who died in Minnesota while paddleboarding.
His family was spending a week on vacation in Cross Lake in northern Minnesota.
"He just knew that lake, and he loves to fish more than anything. If he could go anywhere in the world, it would have been that spot," said Eric Wilson, Stanley's dad.
Eric Wilson said his son was paddleboarding when he fell into the water. Despite attempts to help and CPR, Stanley did not survive.
Wilson said the coroner found that 14-year-old Stanley had a hereditary, undiagnosed heart condition and that he likely went into cardiac arrest.
On Wednesday night, family and friends focused on how Stanley lived and how he made others feel.
"Once you got to know him, he was really outgoing and a fun kid, he'd always make you laugh he had a really contagious smile," a friend said of Stanley.
After sharing their favorite memories, the group walked to shore with candles, threw flowers into the ocean, and released a lantern with messages into the sky.
The family created a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. If you'd like to help, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/stanley-wislon.