Christopher Wesson Benchley, son of Wendy and the late Peter Benchley of Princeton died on Dec. 29 in an accident in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He was 24.
Christopher graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Marine Affairs and a minor in Anthropology from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami. He had spent his freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania.
He was a 2005 graduate of Princeton Day School. As an athlete, Christopher excelled at soccer. He played for the Princeton Soccer Association’s travel teams. He started with the Sparks, coached by Andrew Kalwa, at the age of six and continued with Union ’86, coached by Rob Myslik and Jim Barlow, through his teens. He also played for Princeton Day School his freshman and sophomore years and then turned his attention to crew.
He quickly became a strong oarsman and rowed for the newly developed Mercer County Junior Rowing Club. Christopher’s boat qualified to race in the Head of the Charles in Oct. 2004 and the U.S. Youth Rowing Championships in May, 2005.
An avid scuba diver, he was an amateur marine archaeologist and an advocate for ocean conservation.
Aside from his mother, he is survived by his sister, Tracy Benchley Turner, his brother, Clayton Benchley, and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
A funeral service was held at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton on Saturday, Jan. 7.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to one of Christopher’s favorite organizations, Shark Savers: www.sharksavers.org; 419 Lafayette Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10003.