Kelly Slater elevated his super hero status on Wednesday after becoming one of the first people on scene when a rogue wave swept Sarah White and her son Van off of a popular bike path along the Oahu's North Shore.
Slater was in a lifeguard tower at Rockpiles trying to get a closer glimpse of the huge waves breaking at Outside Log Cabins when the rogue wave hit. Coincidently, he wouldn't have been there if he wasn't denied by Waimea after a closeout set washed him and WSL commentator Ross Williams back to shore. He was examining Log Cabins as a possible Plan B option at the time the wave hit.
Sarah White, of Western Australia, was pushing her baby across a bridge with her headphones on. Focused on the road ahead, she didn't see the wave coming. When it hit, it washed her and her baby across the road, pinning her up against a fence in a set of bushes.
Slater sprang into action and was among the first on scene. And his cameo appearance garnered an emotional response from Sarah's husband on Instagram. Steve White posted: "So thankful the surf gods denied @kellyslater today, cos for whatever reason he was right there to save my wife and kid who were swept across the road by a freak wave. Forever grateful to that great man. So lucky there were no cars at the time as Kam Hwy is always busy. Van was strapped into the pram and was swallowing water and sand- his ears and mouth ended up full of sand. Slater got to the pram and tipped it back up. Sarah is pretty bruised and scraped. Safe to say her phone didn't make it. So thankful my family is alive and safe. Thanks to all the lifeguards too who saved many lives today."
Slater, being Slater, was quick to deflect the praise and give credit to the North Shore lifeguards who, he noted, were already on it. He claimed Sarah would have been fine with or without him in his Instagram response: "@chris.whitey thank you! I didn't look at it that way but for some random reason I stopped there when I normally don't and happened to be there. The lifeguards were on it either way and had it handled. So glad all is well and we can (someday) laugh about it. Van's first wave was a huge one! Definitely a WA baby!"
Indeed, and Van White has a great story for his future kids.