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Memorial Paddle Out honors diver who disappeared 2 weeks ago off Mayport coast

Special tribute Saturday morning as support continues to pour in for family

Loved ones gathered Saturday for a Memorial Paddle Out to honor the life of Timothy Obi.
Loved ones gathered Saturday for a Memorial Paddle Out to honor the life of Timothy Obi. (WJXT)

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – Family, friends and the community came together Saturday to remember Timothy Obi, a diver who disappeared while spearfishing with friends off the coast of Mayport two weeks ago.

The coast guard and several other agencies looked for Obi for days before ultimately calling off the search.

Hundreds showed up at Neptune Beach on Saturday to pay tribute to Obi the best way they knew how. They grabbed paddleboards and hit the water.

They held a special “Memorial Paddle Out” to honor him and uplift his family.

Family, friends and the community came together Saturday to remember Timothy Obi, a diver who disappeared while spearfishing with friends off the coast of Mayport two weeks ago.
Family, friends and the community came together Saturday to remember Timothy Obi, a diver who disappeared while spearfishing with friends off the coast of Mayport two weeks ago.

“Timmy was like Poseidon. He was about the ocean. That was his thing,” said Alex Jenkins a college friend of Obi. “He was just too much fun. He was always smiling. He wanted you to laugh. He was joy.”

Jenkins and Obi were close friends. They grew up together in Mandarin, were college roommates at the University of Florida and fraternity brothers in Alpha Tau Omega.

“[We] grew up on the river, always surfing, always around the water,” he said. “It was a passion that we share together. We took trips to Central America together, trips to the Caribbean together to surf.”

“He was larger than life,” Jenkins said. “He was truly one in 1 billion, not one in 1 million. This guy never knew a stranger. [He] was a friend to all he met. [He was] just a phenomenal person and amazing human being.”

Jenkins said there are plenty of ways to keep Obi’s legacy alive.

“Coming to the beach, surfing, spending time with his family,” he said. “Being there for his little boys as they grow up and try to be one of the people contributing as a positive male figure in their lives.”

A GoFundMe account set up for Obi’s family that will be a college fund for his three sons has raised more than $450,000 with donations still being made. Nearly 3,000 donors have contributed so far.


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