NewsDusty Payne

A Horrible Day on Oahu's North Shore

UPDATE: As of Tuesday morning, Dusty Payne is awake and conscious, with movement in his hands, arms, and legs but doctors are still assessing the his CT scans. According to Maui based filmmaker, Matty Schweitzer, who spoke to Payne's father and The Inertia, Payne indeed suffered broken bones in his face and lost some teeth. He was unconscious for more than 2.5 minutes.

Monday looked like it was going to be a beautiful day on the North Shore of Oahu. The sun was out and there was a clean, 3-to-5 foot swell delivering surf up and down the seven-mile miracle. But it quickly turned ugly this morning. "It's been a horrible day," said lieutenant Adam Lerner, one of the North Shore's best known lifeguards. "These are the worst."

Lerner was referring to two tragic accidents. The first, which occurred this morning, involved former Championship Tour star and 2017 Pipe Invitational winner Dusty Payne, who was knocked out after hitting the reef at Backdoor Pipeline. "He was unconscious when my guys got to him, but with the help of those first surfers on the scene, they got him breathing again back on shore," Lerner explained.

"He took a blow to the head, and he may have broken his jaw, but fortunately he was conscious and somewhat coherent by the time they took him to the hospital."

Dusty Payne (HAW) placed 2nd in Heat 1 of Round Two at Billabong Pipe Masters 2017 in Pipe  Oahu, Hawaii , USA Dusty Payne, competing in the Billabong Pipe Masters CT event last month. WSL / Damien Poullenot

Ryder Guest, who was in the lineup at the time, described the accident to Surfline. "He just fell on a nuts drop and hit his head and face on the reef and never came up.

"Everyone was whistling and I started scratching over to his board. Then Ulu Boi [Jimmy Napeahi], Keoki, Mikey Red and a few others got to him and got his head out of the water," said Guest. "He was unconscious till he got to the beach; then came conscious a couple minutes later and blood was everywhere. It was so gnarly. Lifeguards gave him oxygen and stabilized him for like 10-15 minutes, then the firemen and the ambulance came."

Dusty Payne of Hawaii was the winner of the 2017 Pipe Invitational and earned himself a spot in the main Billabong Pipe Masters. Payne last month, with his Pipe Masters Trials hardware in hand. WSL / Kelly Cestari

"All those guys are heroes," said Lerner. "It never ceases to amaze me how good they are."

Sadly, just a few hours later tragedy struck again right up the beach at Rocky Point, but this time the results were far worse. A man described to be in his late 40s drowned. "We're still gathering the details," Lerner said. "Apparently by the time our guys reached him he was in bad shape. They worked on him for a while but weren't able to revive him. It was just confirmed that he didn't make it."

We will update these stories as more news becomes available. Our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the victim, and we wish Payne a speedy recovery.

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