Nick Johnson
Courtesy Photo

Last Thursday, August 7, close to 300 people took to the ocean as part of the Reef & Run series, which dedicated the 500-meter swim (pictured above) event to Nick Johnson (far right). Johnson, a UCSB water polo athlete and instructor in the city’s Junior Lifeguard program, died at age 19 last March from apparent shallow-water blackout during a swimming practice.

Paul Wellman

The usual registration fees were waived, but a minimum $5 donation was requested; $2,800 was raised for the Nick Johnson Memorial Fund. “Nicholas will forever be remembered for his hard work ethic, teamwork, and his ability to find the best in everyone he encountered,” said Rich Hanna, the city’s supervisor of the Junior Lifeguard program. After the swims, folks gathered at East Beach Grill (right) to remember Nick and his connection to the local aquatic community.


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