Kelly Slater saves woman and child from wild ocean
Words by Morgan Williamson Yesterday afternoon Kelly Slater, Mason Ho and Ross Williams got denied from Waimea Bay. It was maxing out, the paddle was unruly and had to be perfectly timed. And you know it was serious biz when the likes of the above mentioned can’t make their way into the lineup. But for WA photog, […]
Words by Morgan Williamson
Yesterday afternoon Kelly Slater, Mason Ho and Ross Williams got denied from Waimea Bay. It was maxing out, the paddle was unruly and had to be perfectly timed. And you know it was serious biz when the likes of the above mentioned can’t make their way into the lineup. But for WA photog, Chris “Whitey” White and his family it turned out to be a #blessing. After Mr Slater, Ross and Mase watched the brutality of Waimea for a bit, Kelly jammed his way up Kamehameha Highway to see what was happening at Log Cabins.
“I stopped at Rockpiles to take a look at Logs,” Kelly told Stab. “I was in the lifeguard stand when a huge surge came through and hit the road.” At the time Whitey’s wife, Sarah, was running along the bike path with their grom, Van, in tote. “It hit the road right as this Australian girl was pushing her baby in a pram on the middle of the bridge. She had her headphones in and didn’t see or hear it coming. She and the kid, who was luckily strapped in got washed across the road. They got pushed into the bushes and and pinned against a fence.” The surged rushed over the maternal coupling. “It was one of the heaviest things I’ve ever seen,” said the King. “The lifeguards and I ran over and grabbed them out of there, luckily they were totally fine.”
“Van’s first wave was a huge one,” said Kelly. “Definitely a WA baby!” Photo: Chris Whitey
“My wife Sarah was walking across a bridge with a pram (with our 2 year old son Van) and a wave bowled them across the Kam Hwy,” Whitey told Stab on the incident. “Slater said it looked like a tsunami hit them and the wash was over 10 foot high. He couldn’t see them for 20-30 seconds then managed to find the pram pressed against the fence. Van swallowed water and had a mouthful of sand but was ok and Sarah suffered scrapes and bruises.”
“Kelly, one of his mates and a lifeguard ran over to try help find them,” continued Chris. “They were getting a bit swept by the surge too. Kelly got to Van first and made sure the pram was upright, so he could breath. In the aftermath he gave them a towel, a ride home and etc -a full gentlemen. He doesn’t want it hyped up and said he did what anyone would do. Sarah’s still in a bit of shock and hasn’t slept yet. She keeps replaying the incident over in her head. My grom was real lucky that the pram took most of the damage. Emotionally he’s super clingy, but on the whole seems ok. Straight back in the ocean today. I’m stoked he’s not scarred by it. I just wish I could’ve been there to help (I was shooting photos at Waimea). I’m so stoked on Kelly and the lifeguards. The lifeguards over here do such an amazing job and they really should be getting looked after more pay and hours wise and recognized for all they do. They rescued this guy below who was getting pumped in the middle of the bay – he lost his board and was getting sucked towards the rocks, and no-one ever hears about stuff like that. Hats off to them!”
Not the right place, not the right time. Waimea Bay. Photo: Chris Whitey
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