When a surfer suddenly died, his family organised the most beautiful tribute.

A beautiful tribute has been held to celebrate the life of James Tate, whose heart suddenly stopped beating.

The 31-year-old surfer and life saver died suddenly in January, leaving behind his wife, Bec, and 16-month-old daughter, Lillie.

Up to 500 people participated in a the tribue, a paddle out, at Hastings Point in NSW — 300 surfers, and 200 watching from the shore.

“The beach was his second home, so a paddle out to celebrate his life was very fitting,” his sister told Mamamia.

“It was a way for all family and friends to get together to show our love, support and appreciation of his life. The ocean is one of the places we can now feel closest to James.”

The moving tribute was filmed and edited by Sea Ulcer Media.

The paddle-out was a touching tribute.

The morning was organised by his family, who put on a breakfast afterwards on the headland with bacon, eggs and James' favourite - chicken mornay pies.

"James' wife, brothers and sister paddled into the centre of the circle to pay their respects and lay the floating wreaths for him," said Pamela.

"It was such an amazing morning, but extremely emotional as the realisation had started to sink in that we have lost such an incredible human being whom many of us hold very dear to our hearts.

"Chilling out with friends and family was one of James' favourite past times and although he couldn't be a part of it, he would of loved watching it take place."

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