Surfers from the North Shore to Makaha are mourning the sudden death of a well-known photographer who made a living by sharing his love of the ocean.

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On Tuesday, Jeff "Mana" Walthall, 47, was surfing at Makaha Beach with his friend Henry Greenspan when he suddenly collapsed after riding a wave.

It was only by chance that Walthall was the one being photographed, and his friend happened to capture his final ride.

Shortly after finishing a wave where he got to the nose of his surfboard, Walthall kicked out and lost consciousness.

“You know, when he came up, he kind of just… Something happened and that was his last wave,” said Dave Kuwada, his cousin. “It was like a storybook finish in a way. I mean, I couldn’t imagine a better way to depart this world. You know, it’s sad, but he went out like a hero.”

Walthall got his start in photography in the 1980's and was able to turn it into his livelihood over the past decade.

A memorial service for Walthall is being planned at Makaha Beach. A cause of death is pending.