Newcastle surfers paddled out off Merewether Beach on Saturday in memory of Nick Slater, who was killed by a shark while surfing on the Gold Coast in September.
Photographer Matt Richards captured the moment around 40 surfing mates and acquaintances of Mr Slater took to the water as around 80 friends and family watched on from the beach.
"I was very humbled to be a part of it," Mr Richards said, describing a similar event he had been involved with after losing a close friend to suicide.
"That was really emotional," he said, "But this was different. It was more of a celebration of Nick's life. There were no tears."
Mr Slater grew up in the Hunter and attended Toronto High School. On September 8, he was dragged from the water by surfers at Greenmount Beach at Coolangatta after falling victim to a shark attack.
The 46-year-old real estate agent suffered serious leg injuries and, despite the best efforts of paramedics and bystanders at the scene, could not be saved.
Mr Slater's friend Laurie Minto, who also went to Toronto High, paid tribute to "a legend lost" in a touching Facebook tribute a short time after the news broke. He told The Newcastle Herald in September that they were both "Novocastrians at heart" who had moved to the Gold Coast, a place Mr Slater always loved.
"Nick loved life, despite being served more than his share of challenges, he chose to live optimistically," Mr Minto said.