"Thank you for saving my life!"
Yesterday morning found me in a local orthodontist’s office with my young daughter. She was being fitted for a spacer and it is truly a medical marvel how cosmetic dentists have gotten the hooks in earlier and earlier. I had braces for a year and a half at fifteen or some such. The modern child about town is nothing if they have not had various mouth appliances from 7 – 20.
She was, anyhow, excited and I was watching the Surfline feed of Backdoor being streamed on the overhead televisions. Her orthodontist, apparently, surfy. It seemed a very fine day, sun shining, many long barrels expertly threaded but I marveled at the insane crowd and wondered how so many more people don’t get radically injured while Pipelining.
Well, as it happens Pipeline standout Mikey “Redd” O’Shaughnessy had punched his head into the reef just hours earlier and was miraculously saved by the quick action of his friends and a helmet.
Billy Kemper, who was in the water, told Hawaii News Now, “When I seen him fall, I knew he was in a really critical position. I was talking to Koa Rothman and was like c’mon Mikey, pop up, pop up and after two waves of him not surfacing, I said Koa let’s go and I just started paddling as fast as I could towards him.”
Honolulu Ocean Safety lifeguard Kyle Foyle was out surfing as well and made it to O’Shaughnessy, hoisted him up and pumped his chest until he started breathing on his own. He told the outlet, “Luckily, he was wearing a helmet. If he hadn’t been wearing a helmet, I’m pretty sure it would have been another incident we’ve had in the past where we’re picking up pieces.”
Kemper concurred, “I have the helmet here and his board and by the looks of that helmet, both sides of his temple, the helmet is blown open and cracked. So if that happens to a helmet, do the math and you can understand what would have happened to his head on the reef.”
O’Shaughnessy was transported to a Honolulu hospital where he took to Instagram thanking those who saved his life.
All in all a wonderfully happy ending but does it give you pause about your own head? What if you were out surfing crowded Pipeline or some tricky slab? The vast majority of surfers obviously don’t, due pride I imagine, but maybe we should all listen to the great Marsellus Wallace who told Butch Coolidge, “That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.”