Eddie Aikau: Who was the brave surfer and what happened to him?

The fearless lifetime of Eddie Aikau is being remembered with a Google Doodle on what would have been his 73rd birthday.

Aikau, a lifeguard and surfing champion, was born on the island of Maui on Four Might 1946, earlier than shifting along with his household to Oahu in 1959.

In Oahu, Aikau proved he was simply as snug within the water as he was on land, as the primary lifeguard employed by Honolulu officers to work on the North Shore.

Throughout his years defending Waimea Bay, Aikau managed to soundly rescue greater than 500 folks with out the help of a jet ski or different trendy gear, in accordance with the Google Doodle.

In 1971, Aikau’s dedication and perseverance to rescuing folks, even within the face of surf that reached 30 toes excessive, was rewarded with the honour Lifeguard of the Yr. 

Other than his expertise as a lifeguard, Aikau was additionally an completed surfer, who, in 1977, grew to become one of many first native Hawaiians to win the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Browsing Championship – 4 years after his older brother received.

Only a yr later, on the age of 31, Aikau would lose his life whereas volunteering as a member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, which was following the traditional 2,500 route of the Polynesian migration in a traditionally correct double-hulled canoe.

Whereas making the 30-day journey, the volunteers developed a leak and capsized miles from Molokai island – prompting Aikau to take his surfboard and swim for assist.

The remainder of the crew was rescued by the US Coast Guard however Aikau was by no means seen once more.

Aikau’s bravery and identify dwell on by way of the Eddie Aikau Basis, and the The Eddie Quiksilver Massive Wave Invitational, a browsing competitors sponsored by Quiksilver that requires the precondition of ocean swells of a minimal of 20 toes.

The competitors in honour of the Hawaii native was most-recently held in February 2016, and received by John John Florence.

Aikau was additionally remembered within the slogan “Eddie Would Go”, which appeared on bumper stickers and T-shirts in Hawaii. 

The Google Doodle was made in partnership with the Eddie Aikau Basis, which said: “A legendary surfer and lifeguard for town and county county of Honolulu, Eddie Aikau was one of many best huge wave riders on the earth.

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“As the primary lifeguard ever stationed at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu, Eddie is credited with saving the lives of lots of of swimmers and surfers, usually in circumstances nobody else would dare enter.

“His legacy lives on with a memorial Massive Wave Browsing Invitational, also called “The Eddie”, held yearly at Waimea Bay—however solely when the waves are over 20 toes excessive. We hope folks get pleasure from this Google Doodle and take a second to recollect and rejoice Eddie, a real image of the ‘Aloha Spirit’.”

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