Shark attack victim given farewell at surf break
Hundreds of mourners gathered in Mandurah over the weekend to farewell Falcon surfer and 29-yearold father-to-be Ben Gerring.
Family and friends gathered at Port Bouvard surf club on Friday to share treasured memories, before more than 100 friends and fellow surfers took part in a paddle out on Saturday in tribute to the ocean lover.
Mr Gerring, who was fatally mauled by a shark last month, died three days after the attack, with the heroic efforts of fellow surfers who kept him alive proving to be in vain as he later succumbed to injuries in hospital.
Mr Gerring and his fiancee, Jasmine Boyer, had only recently learned they were going to have a baby and had begun building their dream home in Falcon.
The procession into Friday’s service at the surf club was led by the couple’s dog, Bear.
Previously, Mr Gerring had been remembered by loved ones as a “man of the sea”, with his passion for the ocean evident as surfing images covered his coffin while a surfboard sat on top of the hearse.
More than 100 surfers took part in Saturday’s paddle-out, with many of them entering the water again for the first time since the tragic incident.
About 100m from the shore,
surfers formed a large circle as they paid tribute to Mr Gerring.
Dozens watched from the beach, with white balloons later released into the sky.
A private burial was later held on Monday.
The fly-in, fly-out worker lost consciousness after the attack when his right leg was severed above the knee and he was brave- ly dragged back to shore by fellow surfers.
It is believed a great white shark attacked Mr Gerring about 4pm on May 31.
He had surfed at Gearies Break in Falcon, where the attack occurred, since he was a child.
Almost $55,000 has been raised to help Mr Gerring’s fiancee and their unborn child, thanks to a fundraising page set up by a friend.
After the attack on Mr Gerring, the Department of Fisheries killed a suspect great white shark using a baited drum line off the same beach as he was attacked.
Since then there have been calls for the reintroduction of the commercial shark fishery, better protection and warning systems to protect surfers and improvements to shark tagging.
Mourners farewell Ben Gerring at Port Bourvard Surf Life Saving Club.