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Surfer Remembered as Talented Wave Rider, Gifted Teacher

He opened their school in about 2003 to teach young people about ocean safety and the joys of surfing

A surfing instructor who died Wednesday in the waters off San Francisco's Ocean Beach was remembered today as an excellent surfer, a talented teacher and a remarkable person by his best friend and business partner.

Jonathan Luhn, 44, of San Jose, owned and taught at Aloha Wave Riders in Santa Cruz, said Chris Ewing, his friend of 25 years and Aloha co-owner.

He was seen floating in the water off Ocean Beach at about 1 p.m. Wednesday and was taken to the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy is scheduled for today. Luhn and Ewing opened their school in about 2003 to teach young people about ocean safety and the joys of surfing, Ewing said.

"John was an incredible individual -- loving and extremely talented," he said.

He was also a gifted teacher and was well-liked by the surfers at Four Mile Beach north of Santa Cruz, where he was a regular, Ewing said.

"John's been involved in a couple of saving incidents over the years in the Santa Cruz area," he added. "He physically pulled people out of the water, saving them from drowning."

A good Samaritan brought Luhn to shore Wednesday, called 911 and started doing CPR, fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

An official cause of death could take weeks to determine.

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