[caption id="attachment_73898" align="aligncenter" width="320"] kirk passmore persumed dead after surfing whipeout[/caption]Experienced Surfer Likely Dead After Wiping Out on 20 ft Wave
Oahu, Hawaii - As local residents know, the Island's North Shore beach is for experienced surfers only. The waves can reach eye popping heights and while the thrill of riding provides an adrenalin rush, the sheer weight of the water that can crash down on a surfer is dangerous.
Sadly, it appears that for 32-year-old experienced surfer Kirk Passmore, the waves of Oahu's North Beach are now his final resting place.
According to the Huffing Post, Passmore disappeared this week after a 20 ft. wave fell upon his already injured body. Jamie Sterling, who is himself a professional surfer, was on hand to witness Passmore's final moments. Sterling told Surfing Magazine that Passmore came out of the drop (riding the wave's shoulder), but was leaning too far forward and came off the surfboard. When he emerged, it was obvious he had been injured. Sterling speculates the injuries could have been neck trauma, a ruptured ear drum, or vertigo.
Kirk paddled down with some of the gang from Waimea ... he made the drop but had too much forward momentum at the bottom and just went over the handlebars. And then -- I mean, we’re just making assumptions at this point -- when he surfaced it looked like he had broken his eardrum or maybe his neck because his feet popped up and he was facing down. He may have had vertigo, or lost his equilibrium. But I don’t think his head broke the surface, and at that point the next wave passed over him and his board broke.
Either way, Passmore remained face down with his feet popped up. In that state, a 20 foot wave crashed down on him splitting his board. Passmore has not been seen since.
His family has accepted the reality that he is now deceased and issued a statement that their son has been surfing for 18 years and had experience surfing most of the big name beaches.
"He started coming to Hawaii when he was 14 and was an experienced and expert surfer," the family said. "He was not new to big wave surfing, having surfed most of the well-known big wave locations, including Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, Pipeline and outer reefs on the north shores of Hawaii."
Larry Haynes, a cinematographer who was capturing footage of surfers riding 20- to 30-foot waves at an outer reef known as Alligator Rock, complied with Passmore's father by sharing Kirk's final ride footage with Hawaii's KITV News. (Video posted below.)
On The Web:
Kirk Passmore Missing: Surfer Vanishes After Wiping Out On 20-Foot Wave