San Diego native and North Shore resident, Kirk Passmore, failed to surface after falling on a massive wave outside Alligator Rock Wednesday afternoon.
Kirk, along with a few fellow chargers, attempted to paddle out at Alligator Rock Wednesday Morning but couldn’t make it past the 30-foot waves. He then paddled out through Waimea Bay, catching a few at the point before paddling over to Alligator’s. Kirk took off deep on a massive set but pearled before making it down the face. After falling, he never resurfaced.
Oahu’s local fire department and lifeguards were immediately notified. Fire trucks, helicopters, a C-130 four-engine prop plane, and a rescue boat fled to the scene. Search and Rescue teams thoroughly searched the area near Alligator’s till dark to no avail. His surfboard was found near Chun’s Reef.
A couple dozen surfers were enjoying the first big north swell of the year at the Outer Reef. “Conditions were really majestic,” said first-timer Tanner Gudauskas, who was sitting near the missing surfer. “And it was huge — everything was moving really fast. It was a wild deal. The wave [Kirk] went on was a set, everyone was paddling over it and he just went, super late. It happened so quick.”
“Conditions were beautiful, as good as you could hope for,” Aussie-charger-turned-North-Shore-resident Ben Wilkinson said. “A set swang past us, one of the bigger ones of the morning. [Kirk] was sitting on the inside and swung around and took off and didn’t make it. After the wave passed, Danilo [Couto] saw [Kirk’s] legs swimming downwards, so we thought he could’ve busted his eardrum. I took off two waves later; I didn’t make it around the section and got mowed by six more waves — so [Kirk] must’ve taken at least eight waves on the head.”
Family and friends gathered at Alligator’s thursday evening to share a few words about the beloved charger. RIP Kirk, you will be missed.