Aaron Gold Nearly Drowned At Cloudbreak This Morning
An extended hold down and a resuscitation.
Hawaii’s Aaron Gold is currently in stable condition after suffering a wipeout at Cloudbreak today that nearly stole his life.
With the biggest swell of the year steadily filling in at Cloudbreak, Aaron was reportedly the first surfer in the water this morning. Taking off on the first wave of the day, which was also the first solid set of the new swell, he went down about halfway down the face.
It’s unclear whether Aaron was held down for two or three waves, but whatever the case, he disappeared underwater for an extended period of time. It was local Fijian Uri Kurop that eventually found Aaron floating face down near the reef’s edge. Cinematographer Larry Haynes was also in on the rescue.
Mark Healey was the first to begin resuscitation efforts. Aaron was then brought onboard a waiting boat where CPR continued, before he was eventually transported to the island hospital on Tavarua. By the time he touched down on the sand on Tavarua he was conscious again and huge cheers went up as he was ushered up to the medics.
“My brother @therealaarongold had a heavy wipeout this morning at cloudbreak, got a two wave hold down, and then blacked out unconscious underwater for 2 mins,” reported Benji Brand on Instagram. “Currently in the hospital checking the amount of water in his lungs. He wouldn't be alive without @ukfiji grabbing him with the ski or @healeywaterops resuscitating him. God bless you guys.”
It was reported that within 40 minutes of the near-drowning Gold was back up, walking and talking. He will now be taken to a hospital on the Fijian mainland for continued treatment and observation.
At this time the swell continues to fill in at Cloudbreak, but after seeing one of their own almost meet his maker at the start of the day, there’s definitely an air of caution in the water. Stab reached out to a number of surfers who are on Tavarua, but for obvious reasons nobody’s around their phones at the moment.
Gold won the Biggest Paddle Wave title at the recent WSL Big Wave Awards for his 63-foot wave at Jaws on January 15, 2016.