Pro surfer Dusty Payne was hospitalized following a grave wipeout at Backdoor on Oahu’s North Shore earlier this week, Hawaii News Now reports.
The 26-year-old Maui native crashed into the reef near the shore. Luckily surfers, photographers, and lifeguards were quick to respond when Payne didn’t surface. He was unconscious when he was pulled onto shore, where he received medical attention.
“I was paddling back out at Pipeline and I noticed Dusty was taking off on a wave,” surfer Jimmy ‘Uluboy’ Napeahi told Hawaii News Now. “It was really steep of course, and it was a bad place to fall. And he fell.”
Freesurf photographer Keoki Saguibo played a pivotal role.
“Keoki was shooting the wave the entire time,” Napeahi said. “He kept his eye on Dusty the entire time. And all of a sudden he yelled and starting swimming as fast as he could. He got there first and did spinal control with his neck, and I straddled his legs around my hips and swam into the beach.”
Payne, who is reportedly conscious, was transported to a hospital in and is in serious condition.