Monday morning, sometime after midnight, five friends waded into the surf in Huntington Beach, California after a fun evening in downtown Huntington Beach.  Only three of them returned from the water.  Ryan Reid and Christopher Palmer both shared a passion for motocross, and were both part of the tight circles of the motorcycle industry.   Both Reid and Palmer worked at ASV Inventions in Huntington Beach.

I spoke with Bob Morales, the President of ASV this morning and he said, “He just can’t believe what happened.  They were both the greatest guys!  They sat just a few feet from each other every day, and we always had the greatest time together.”

Palmer had been a pool lifeguard for the city of Paramount for two summers as a teenager which just goes to show how strong the ocean can be when it wants to. Reid, 22, was more laid-back, and people who worked with him said he never seemed to stop smiling.

The group ended up on the beach. Shortly after midnight, Palmer, Reid and the others waded into the water, lifeguard officials said.

Palmer and Reid stayed in the water, even when the rest of the group headed back to the shore. The others “heard them out there having a good time,” marine safety Lt. Michael Baumgartner said.

But some time afterward, the three on the beach realized they could no longer hear Palmer and Reid. They alerted a maintenance worker near the pier, who called for help at 1:10 a.m.

Within 20 minutes, lifeguards were searching the waters by boat, and the Huntington Beach Police helicopter was hovering over the water. It would be several hours before a man walking on the beach and drinking his morning coffee would find Reid’s body; and even longer before surfers would find Palmer’s body about half a mile up the beach.

Morales also asked that we let everybody know that there will be a memorial service tonight, Thursday, at 6:30 P.M., on the beach at Tower 18, (Huntington Beach) which is located just South of where Goldenwest Street meets the sand.

(It should also be mentioned that the Chris Palmer in this story is not the same Chris Palmer who wrote the book Wide Open With Jeremy McGrath.)

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