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Life rings installed on fishing pier

Updated: Sunday, August 10 2014, 06:58 PM CDT
PORT ARTHUR- by Haley Bull

Exactly three months after Christopher
Ramirez, 26, drowned off a Pleasure Island fishing pier, his family and
friends are keeping his memory alive by working to prevent similar
accidents.

They gathered at the pier off North Levee Road Sunday
morning for a balloon release and dedication ceremony celebrating
Ramirez's life.

"Always alive, always ready to go do something,
especially out here, these steps right here, couldn't get enough of it,"
Paul Bartee, a friend, said.

"Chris was a fun person to be
around with. He enjoyed fishing, that's the reason he was out here that
evening," Ramirez's uncle, Joe Delgadillo, said.

May 10th, Ramirez and his fiancee went fishing at the pier.

"He
had an accident, fell over and couldn't get back up and there was
nobody here to help him other than his girlfriend but she didn't have no
access to any rope , any life preserver, nothing that could actually
help him," Delgadillo said.

His fiancee left to call 911, but
when she returned, Ramirez had gone under. Several hours later,
emergency workers pulled his body from the water.

"If we would have had preservers on the pier, I don't think Chris would be gone today," Cindy Zarnstorff, a friend, said.

One week after his death, family and friends started a petition and collected donations in an effort to make the pier safer.

"It
was a good way to bring everyone together and to have something good
come out of it, not to let it just be the passing of a friend, but get
these rings out here in memory of him," Bartee said.

Sunday, Ramirez' name is inscribed on three life rings handing on the pier, a reminder of the young life taken.

"We know what that feels like and hopefully somebody else don't have to go through that," Delgadillo said.

The
group said they hope to add the life rings at other piers in the area.
If you'd like to donate life rings, call Linda Delgadillo at
409-293-9323.Life rings installed on fishing pier


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