HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A paddle out ceremony is a way to celebrate a life lost of someone who loved the water.
But Horry County Police Cpl. Michael Ambrosino wasn’t just someone who loved the water. He served on beach patrol for years and befriended beachgoers while serving his community day in and day out, before losing a battle to COVID-19 last month.
“He was the kind of officer that people really wanted to meet and know because he had that kind heart and his spirit will always live on," said Duke Brown, a fellow Beach Patrol officer.
Brown said Ambrosino was someone he was proud to have as an officer, saying the connections he built within the community we’re monumental.
“The connections Mike made, it’s obvious today. He had the general public out here, also officers and firemen from other departments that respected him, as well as the surfers respected him. He loved the area, he loved the people here and he got along with them and made a big difference because if we had problems down here, they were easy to solve with officers like Mike, people had confidence in him," he said.
Members of law enforcement from across the Grand Strand also participated in the procession and paddled out to remember a life loved by many.
“He’s loved on this beach," said Brown. "And it was obvious today, by everyone. Everyone had kind words to say, came out and gave support. We had a lot of people paddling out that we’re not surfers either that came out. First time they’ve ever been on a board, they came out to make sure that Mike knew it was here, his spirit was definitely with us today.”