Stab Magazine | The Heart-Wrenchingly Beautiful Tale Of A Beloved Honolua Bay Local's Last Wave
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The Heart-Wrenchingly Beautiful Tale Of A Beloved Honolua Bay Local’s Last Wave

“For a split second I got a glimpse of what he saw and it was beyond epic. There are no words to describe how beautiful that wave was!”

news // Jan 19, 2019
Words by Rory Parker
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Maui surfing community lost member of its family this past Saturday, January 12th, when Plinio Lattanzi, 54, suffered a medical emergency in the lineup and was unable to be resuscitated.

Born in Rio De Janeiro, Lattanzi relocated to Lahaina, Maui in 1990, where he became a beloved figure on the island’s west side.

Saturday saw a solid 6-8 foot swell at Honolua Bay, with sets approaching the double-overhead range

Maui resident Bobby Burrer, who shared Lattanzi’s last wave, had this to say:

“He then looked at me and said, ‘are you gonna go!?’ I laughed and said, ‘Only if you are.’ We were both laughing, and he said in his Brazilian accent, “Alright we go!”

“It was this really beautiful wide-open double-up wave. He pulled in right at The Cave and threaded it. For a split second I got a glimpse of what he saw and it was beyond epic. There are no words to describe how beautiful that wave was!

“He paddled back into the lineup after and sat next to Randy ‘Goose’ Welch and Coconut Willy and Kala Willard. Goose looked to him and asked, ‘Are you all right?’ Then [Lattanzi’s] eyes rolled into the back of his head and he fell face down and rolled off his board.

“Welch was the first one to reach him, then he and all the Honolua boys began paddling him from the lineup to the beach. Will Hunt was performing CPR in the water and Goose yelled to me as I was climbing up the cliff, ‘Have someone call 911 now!’

“I ran up the cliff and yelled for Justin Taguiped to call 911. Everything was happening so fast

“Kale Boverman and a few others organized a carry line up the trail while they were still performing CPR on him. It was a joint effort on everyone’s part, it was the best rescue effort I’ve ever seen, and I’m really thankful to be a part of such a caring community. Everyone there that day that helped out deserves an award for taking initiative and acting so quickly under such chaotic circumstances.”

Plinio Lattanzi’s memorial shrine at Honolua Bay.

Maui-based photographer, Damian ‘Dooma’ Antioco told Stab, “[Lattanzi] was a good person and is a huge loss to the West Maui Surfing community and will be greatly missed. He left us doing what he loved, at the place he loved, surrounded by all his friends.”

There will be a Paddle Out Blessing in memory of Lattanzi on January 26th, 2019, at 12:30pm at Honolua Bay, followed by a Celebration of Life potluck at DT Fleming Park at 2pm. 

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