Photo gallery Candlelight vigil held to honor windsurfer who died on Lake Mendota

June 8, 2017

A candlelight vigil was held at the Lakefront Wednesday night to honor Yu Chen, who died May 31 in a wind surfing accident on Lake Mendota.

Friends and family who attended the ceremony remembered him for being a passionate windsurfer and a good friend. He was a medical physicist and a windsurfing instructor.

Photos by Emily Hamer

 

A friend of Yu Chen who sailed with him speaks to family and friends who attended the candlelight vigil.

A friend of Yu Chen who sailed with him speaks to family and friends who attended the candlelight vigil. Emily Hamer

Chen had been a windsurfer since 2009 and a volunteer instructor with Hoofers since 2012.

Chen had been a windsurfer since 2009 and a volunteer instructor with Hoofers since 2012. Emily Hamer

Around 100 people gathered under the yellow canopy next to Hoofers.

Around 100 people gathered under the yellow canopy next to Hoofers. Emily Hamer

Chen was a senior medical physicist, but speakers at the ceremony said windsurfing was his passion.

Chen was a senior medical physicist, but speakers at the ceremony said windsurfing was his passion. Emily Hamer

Though Chen's death was tragic and unexpected, friends and family members smiled to fond memories of the man that he was.

Though Chen's death was tragic and unexpected, friends and family members smiled to fond memories of the man that he was. Emily Hamer

Chen was only 43 years old when he died. His friends were moved to tears by the loss.

Chen was only 43 years old when he died. His friends were moved to tears by the loss. Emily Hamer

The candles were lit as a part of a Chinese tradition to honor the dead.

The candles were lit as a part of a Chinese tradition to honor the dead. Emily Hamer

Family, friends and colleagues lit candles and talked about memories they had of Chen as the sun set.

Family, friends and colleagues lit candles and talked about memories they had of Chen as the sun set. Emily Hamer

The candle lighting happened as the sun set over Lake Mendota. The purpose of the vigil was not only to remember Chen, but to

The candle lighting happened as the sun set over Lake Mendota. The purpose of the vigil was not only to remember Chen, but to "send him home." Emily Hamer

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