Friday, April 20 , 2018, 7:26 pm | Fair 59º


Local News

A Final Wave for Beach-Stabbing Victim Robert Simpson

Friends, family and surfers gather for a memorial paddle-out at Arroyo Burro Beach

It was an overcast Saturday morning in Santa Barbara, with a heavy cloud of sadness that hung in the air at Arroyo Burro Beach, the site of the April 15 slashing death of Robert “Bobby I” Simpson.

Family, friends and a contingent of local surfers were on hand to pay tribute to the fallen surfer.

A makeshift altar was set up with memorabilia, and smudge sticks were burned.

A crowd of more than 300 gathered on the beach, hugged and greeted one another — many still emotionally shaken by the passing of a local favorite.

More than 70 surfers, kayakers and stand-up surfers braved the morning chill to participate in a traditional “paddle-out” to form a circle with their boards. Some of the mourners spread flowers within the circle.

Three flares were shot into the sky, and members of the group bowed their heads in silence for a moment before several members shouted out hoots often heard by surfers when catching a good wave.

For many, the gathering provided some closure. For Bobby I, it was his last wave.

— John Conroy is a contributing photographer for Noozhawk.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >