UH sailors remember 'heart and soul' of team following deadly accident - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH sailors remember 'heart and soul' of team following deadly accident

Peter Wenner Peter Wenner
Peter Wenner Peter Wenner
Ryan Wild Ryan Wild
Jessi Locke Jessi Locke

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The University of Hawaii sailing team is mourning a teammate who died Tuesday morning, following a boating accident in waters off Waikiki over the weekend.

Peter Wenner, 19, was supposed to compete with the co-ed team in Santa Barbara, California this weekend. Friends remembered him as a positive person and an exceptional sailor.

Members of the University of Hawaii co-ed sailing team gather at Makapuu Beach Park to remember their teammate, Peter Wenner.

"I heard it was his favorite beach," Jessi Locke, victim's teammate, said. "He loved to be out in the water. (We) come to remember him and have a good time 'cause he would have liked that."

The Los Angeles native made an immediate impact on the squad. His teammates called him PJ.

"PJ and his best friend, Willy, both surprised the hell out of everyone last year when they came on to the team and started winning races right away," Ryan Wild, victim's teammate, said.

On Saturday, he went for a recreational sail on a private, high-performance boat with several members of his team. Investigators say he got trapped under water when the boat capsized.

"It's really hard, and I was there on the boat trying to save him," Wild said. "And we had a safety boat and everything like that, and we did absolutely everything that we possibly could."

The sophomore was considered the heart and soul of the team.

"What do you remember most about PJ?" this reporter asked.

"His smile, his laughter, his ability to make everyone happy," Locke replied.

"Peter represented everything good about being an athlete, sailor, and student here at the University of Hawaii," Andy Johnson, head coach, said. "We will all miss him immensely."

"On that high-performance boat, it was the absolute pinnacle of his happiness right there," Wild said. "And he passed away on the happiest day of his life."

There will be a public memorial service at the Newman Center on the UH Manoa campus Wednesday beginning at 5 pm. Another service will be held in Los Angeles next Tuesday.

Powered by Frankly