Christopher Wesson Benchley, son of former Borough Councilwoman Wendy and the late Peter Benchley, the author best known for Jaws, died Dec. 29, in an accident in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He was 24.
A 2005 graduate of Princeton Day School, Mr. Benchley graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in marine affairs and a minor in anthropology from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. He had spent his freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania.
As an athlete, Mr. Benchley excelled at soccer and 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. His 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.
In addition to 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 will be held at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton on Sat., Jan. 7, at 11:00 a.m. The service is open to all.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to one of Mr. Benchley’s favorite organizations, Shark Savers, at www.sharksavers.org or via mail at Shark Savers, 419 Lafayette Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10003.