More than 600 people, including about 100 law enforcement officers from agencies as far as Santa Cruz, Oakland and San Diego, attended a funeral service Saturday for Ventura Harbor Patrol Officer Paul Kober.
Kober, 46, died March 15 while trying to rescue a mother and her three sons who became trapped in treacherous ocean waters off Ventura Harbor's south jetty.
Canyon County resident Karen Van Deventer, 44, and sons, Jake, 14, Daniel, 11, and Phillip, 7, survived. Kober, whose wife died three years ago from cancer, drowned.
He is survived by a 10-year-old son, Barrett.
During the 1:30 p.m. service at Missionary Church of Ventura, Ventura Harbor Patrol Operations Manager Scott Miller read a poem titled "Heroes in Heaven" by boat owner Mark Ellison, who praised as heroes both Kober and Kober's son.
"The message in that poem is that, for lack of better words, God works in mysterious ways," Miller said at a reception later.
The funeral procession was led by dozens of law enforcement vehicles with flashing lights. The procession started on North Victoria Boulevard and stretched three miles before ending at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park on Valentine Road.
All 17 Ventura Harbor Patrol employees attended the services, as well as harbor officers from Santa Barbara, Channel Islands, San Luis Obispo and Long Beach. Employees from sheriff's, police and fire departments in Ventura, Los Angeles and San Diego also attended, as well as East Bay Regional Park District officers from Oakland, the Coast Guard, state and city lifeguards, state park rangers and representatives from two ambulance companies.