Stab Magazine | Watch: Jamie O'Brien Blacks Out And Nearly Dies At Pipeline

Watch: Jamie O’Brien Blacks Out And Nearly Dies At Pipeline

Hit in the head, knocked out, underwater for half a minute!

cinema // Apr 9, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

We shouldn’t need to tell you that Pipeline is a dangerous wave. 

It is, statistically, the deadliest surf spot in the world. Every year Pipeline brings a major surfing figure close to death. This year, it appears Pipeline Master Jamie O’Brien is that guy. 

Surfing what he called “6-foot Pipeline” on a beautiful spring day, Jamie took off deep on a lumpy blue wall, bounced down the face and wildly flailed his arms before crashing in the flats. To our eye, it looked like Jamie fell in front of the lip, meaning he should have been blasted forward but not in a spectacularly awful fashion. Pipeline being Pipeline, it defied the laws of the ocean, instead picking up all 6’3, 200 pounds of Jamie O’Brien and hurling him over the falls, causing Jamie to hit his head either on the reef or on his own surfboard on the way down. 

Then he blacked out. And got held under for half a minute.

“I don’t remember anything,” Jamie said to his GoPro, seconds after he emerged. “Was it a left or a right?”

It was a left. 

Luckily for Jamie, when all this went down he was wearing a floaty suit from Buell, which brought him up to the surface despite being unconscious. Jamie was also helped by two friendly samaritans in the water. 

Finally on the beach, the extent of Jamie’s injury was discovered. A massive flap of scalp had been three-quarters removed from Jamie’s head, creating a hole that revealed his skull. It ain’t a pretty sight.

Jamie went to the ER and was administered roughly 10 staples, which will help reattach his skin to his head.

With the hole sealed and a concussion quite probable, the doctor implored Jamie to keep his head dry for 24 hours. He said yes ma’am and left.

But how strange would it have been if Jamie actually died?


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