Hundreds gather to remember North Myrtle Beach teen surfe - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Hundreds gather to remember North Myrtle Beach teen surfer

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CHERRRY GROVE, SC (WBTW) -

Hundreds gathered, at Cherry Grove Pier in North Myrtle Beach, to say goodbye to a teen who died surfing, in their own special way, on Thursday evening.

Anderson Estep, age 19, went missing Friday afternoon during Tropical Storm Andrea while surfing near the Cherry Grove Pier.

Estep, of North Myrtle Beach, went to go surfing in the area along with his younger brother, according to a police report. At first both waited for conditions to improve, but later Anderson went surfing while the younger brother watched from shore.

The brother told authorities that he never saw Anderson leave the water.

Friends of Estep say he touched the lives of many.

"If he saw someone he didn't know he come up to you and welcome you with open arms", say Tyler Hodges, who organized a paddle out, where surfers gather out in the ocean, to say goodbye to a loved one.

Flowers were handed out to the family and friends who came to show their support.

Hodges says that some surfers have never met Estep, but they still feel a big loss.

"It's more of a family thing, we look out for each other we respect each other we all have our moments but we still care for each other", said Bradley Phillips a surfer in attendance for the paddle out.

Mike Berry, the Estep's family minister, said a brief prayer before the surfers hit the water. 

He says the family was touched to see so many people gathered to say goodbye, but Berry says that it is not really goodbye.

"People of faith never say goodbye for the last time. They've said their farewell and know that they will see him again at another time", said Berry.

As the sun set, the surfers hit the waves.

The surfers who took part in the paddle out, which numbered near 50, took flowers with them and formed a large circle.

The group then released the flowers in the water. The flowers flowed into the shore symbolizing Estep's last ride, said Berry.

Hodges says the ocean will be a lot emptier without his friend.

"It's going to be harder, but it's brought our little surf family closer", said Hodges.

A memorial service was held Wednesday, at Ocean Drive Presbyterian church in North Myrtle Beach.

Rescue crews searched for several days, but never found Estep's body.

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