Professional surfing legend, Kelly Slater, can now add “hero” to his resume after saving a tourist and her 22-month-old baby in Hawaii.
On Wednesday, the shores of Oahu's Waimea Bay saw massive waves from 30 to 45 feet high, according to The Huffington Post.
An Australian tourist, Sarah White, and her baby were walking along the beach and got swept away to the street by a rogue wave. Slater, 43, was right there to save them.
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“The wave, it was like a tsunami. It was just this big flood of water,” White reportedly said. “The only thing I was thinking of was; I don't want my son to drown, I don't want my son to drown.
When Slater saw White struggling, he grabbed the baby and pulled White from underwater. After saving them, he gave them a ride home and even returned later to make sure they were okay, according to Yahoo news.
"So thankful the surf gods denied @kellyslater today cos [sic] for whatever reason he was right there to save my wife and kid who were swept across the road by a freak wave today," wrote Sarah’s husband, Chris White, on Instagram.
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 a road by a freak wave today. Forever grateful to the great man and so thankful my family is alive and safe 👊🏼 ❤️💙 Thanks to all the lifeguards too who saved many lives today.
Slater responded to White by humbly acknowledging it was an instance of coincidence.
"For some random reason I stopped there when I normally don't," Slater wrote. "Lifeguards were on it either way and had it handled."
Those dangerous waves have come to be expected at Waimea Bay at this time of year, which is actually what attracts daredevil surfers.
Kerry Atwood, a lifeguard who oversees Waimea Bay, said the area is "one of the most famous big wave surfing spots in the world."
"Being in the middle of the winter on the north shore, people just can't resist the temptation to surf it," he reportedly told Hawaii News Now.
One thing’s for sure, it is definitely a miraculous twist of fate that Slater was on shore at the perfect time to save the Whites and not on his board in the water.
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