Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Orange County

A Goodbye Wave for Brothers

Memorial: Surfers pay respects to two young men whose bodies were found in an abandoned mine in Cleveland National Forest.

June 28, 2002|STANLEY ALLISON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

About 40 surfers gathered in Newport Beach on Thursday, paddled 100 yards into the ocean, formed a circle and remembered their friends Nicholas and Glenn Anderson, the brothers who died this week in an abandoned mine.

Their mother, Terry Kling, and stepfather, Marty Kling, hugged the surfers as they headed out.

"Not too somber," the stepfather said. "You know how the boys would want it."

Focusing on a surfboard that carried two leis and a wreath with pictures of the young men, the surfers told stories and reminisced.

Nicholas, 23, was "a great friend. He made you the best person you could be," said Kelly Silva, 24, of Yucca Valley.

Silva and Joshua Stone, 23, couldn't stop laughing as they remembered a 1997 road trip to Humboldt County in Nick's 1952 Ford Falcon station wagon.

Under ordinary circumstances, the trip might have taken half a day.

But they got caught in an El Nino storm and it took two days.

"We didn't even know how to get there; we couldn't see a thing," Silva said.

The memorial was at a spot near lifeguard Tower 56, known for the quality of the waves.

It's where the brothers learned to surf.

As the sun was setting, a group of dolphins swam past the surfers.

"It was a perfect moment," said Joey Borgese, 18, who was on the water polo team and graduated a week ago from El Modena High School with Glenn, 18.

"We thanked them for being our friends and told them we wouldn't be the same people if we hadn't met them."

The brothers disappeared Sunday while exploring the murky waters of an abandoned mine in the Cleveland National Forest. They were found dead Monday by a team of sheriff's divers.

The Gold Rush-era complex, known as the Blue Light Mine, has been a magnet for hikers and teenagers, even though officials have declared it a safety hazard.

Authorities said the air in the shaft where the brothers were found contained just 4% oxygen and a collection of as-yet-unknown gases.

Publicity Hike Planned

Friends and family plan to hike to the mine shaft Saturday morning to draw attention to the dangerous spot they believe should be closed off so no other lives are lost.

The brothers and their friend, Matt Murphy, 17, hiked up rugged Pine Canyon on Sunday afternoon to explore the abandoned 19th century mines in the mountains above the former boomtown of Silverado.

After entering the Blue Light's labyrinth of tunnels, they encountered water in the tight chamber.

The brothers kept going but Murphy refused to follow.

He waited about two hours but never heard from the brothers, who were described as strong swimmers and experienced cavers.

Murphy phoned authorities, who began searching the area about 7 p.m. and stayed through the night as friends and family kept a vigil.

It was not until Monday morning that a cave-diving specialist from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department could be flown in.

He and six other Los Angeles and Orange County sheriffs' divers entered the inky underground pool and, using lights, found the Andersons in 30 minutes.

The formal funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. today at Calvary Church in Santa Ana.

But Thursday, Glenn's friends and water polo teammates--Borgese, Eric Rath, Matt Maciha, Blake Lemke, Aaron Vaughan--and Glenn's best friend, Robert Adams, wanted to say farewell as surfers.

"They had this overwhelming need to do something on their level," said Rae Lynn Price, whose son was one of the brothers' friends.

"Something Glenn and Nick would have done."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|