RANCHO PALOS VERDES (CBSLA.com)  —  An emotional vigil was held Saturday for a 20-year-old Carson man who drowned Thursday while swimming at the caves at Rancho Palos Verdes.

Friends are hoping the drowning will serve as a lesson to others to not dive or swim in the dangerous waters.

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Many recalled Ricky Compean’s radiant smile.

KCAL0’9s Jennifer Kastner said Compean’s friends wanted people to remember him as the consummate pal.

She said friends and family pored over photos of the 20-year-old as they celebrated his life.

They also watched video he and a cousin took just before the accident occurred showing the choppy, rough waters that took his life.

“His cousin told him just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” says Erick Rubalcava, Compean’s brother-in-law.”Ricky at some point said ‘I can’t, I’m tired.’ And he was wearing his cross. And he just held on to his cross.”

The drowning happened near Inspiration Point — the same spot where another person passed away from cliff diving last July.

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Compean’s family says there needs be better warnings along that stretch of coastline.

“Get some kind of signage to let people know,” said Rubalcava. “You can die here. Then people can make their [own] choices.”

LA County’s Fire Department’s Lifeguard division says it has no lifeguard on duty signs in the area and constantly patrols those waters.

Compean was studying Kinesiology at Cal State San Marcos. Friends and family said he was driven.

“I loved him” said best friend Esteban Gonzales.”I’m sure we all wanted to tell him we love him. He knows that now though.”

Some lifeguards apparently warned Compean and his cousin to get out of the water because it was too dangerous — they got out but then later got back in.

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A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family pay funeral expenses. “To know Ricky was to love him,” the page intones. For more information, click here.