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Former pro surfer known for riding huge Pipeline waves dies in shark attack while surfing off Oahu

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Former pro surfer known for riding huge Pipeline waves dies in shark attack while surfing off Oahu
News

News

Former pro surfer known for riding huge Pipeline waves dies in shark attack while surfing off Oahu

2024-06-25 08:34 Last Updated At:08:40

A well-known Hawaii lifeguard who was killed in a shark attack while surfing off Oahu’s North Shore was a former professional surfer with acting credits to his name, including a role in one of the “Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.

Tamayo Perry, 49, was killed Sunday near Goat Island, Shayne Enright of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department said in a statement.

It's not known if Perry was the first professional surfer to be killed in a shark attack, since the definition of a professional in the sport can be blurry, said Brendan Buckley, the editor of Stab Magazine, a website devoted to surfing.

“But in terms of a high-level surfer that people around the world know and respected, he's the first that I'm aware of,” Buckley told The Associated Press Monday from his office in Portugal.

Perry and his wife, Emilia Perry, operated the Oahu Surfing Experience, offering surfing lessons. According to his biography on the business' website, he surfed professionally for over 15 years, highlighted by winning the Pipeline Master trials in 1999.

The Pipeline off Oahu's North Shore is famous for creating a tube that surfers ride for as long as they can. But it's also the most deadly wave in the world, killing some of the world's best surfers, Buckley said. Surfing it became Perry’s specialty, he said.

Surfers either focus on competitions or what they can do outside of those meets.

Perry “was never like somebody that was going to contend for a world title,” Buckley said. "He was more of the type to just kind of hunt down big, crazy waves and have that documented.”

“For a while, he was one of the top, top, top people out there," Buckley added. ”He got some of the craziest waves of his era. He was insanely respected by obviously everybody there and everybody around the world for what he did.”

Perry said on his website that he took to heart lessons learned from a near-fatal accident while surfing the Pipeline years ago.

“The lessons I’ve taken from that event have inspired me to my goal of instilling proper surf etiquette and safety into those whom I teach,” he wrote.

Emilia competed as a professional bodyboarder in western Australia before moving to Hawaii when she was 18. She and Tamayo met when she was bodyboarding out to a Pipeline wave.

“A few years later, I picked up a surfboard, we got married and there was no turning back,” she wrote. “The vast amounts of ocean knowledge that Tamayo has ingrained in me over the years is priceless.”

Tamayo Perry began his career as a lifeguard on the North Shore for the City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety in July 2016, Enright said.

Perry's other passion was acting. He had several small roles credited to him on the film website www.imdb.com, including playing a buccaneer in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” in 2011. That same year, he appeared in an episode of the television series “Hawaii Five-0.” He was also in a couple of national commercials.

"When I’m not acting, I’m still quite a character, so there’s always a ton of fun to be had," he said.

Photographer Brian Bielmann had known and worked with Perry for 25 years, shooting the surfer in both Hawaii and Tahiti. Perry and several friends wound up at a party about five months ago, when Bielmann said they had an incredible bonding experience.

“There’s about five of us there, and we’ve all called each other and just said, ‘We just are so thankful that we had that night with him,’” he said. “Everybody is just shaken to the core. I mean, it’s a gnarly thing to have happen no matter who it is, but to find out it was Tamayo, it’s crazy, man.”

Honolulu Ocean Safety and the city's fire, police and emergency medical services departments responded to Malaekahana Beach on Oahu's North Shore just before 1 p.m. Sunday after a caller reported seeing a man who appeared to have suffered shark bites, Enright said.

Lifeguards brought Perry to shore, where he was pronounced dead, Enright said.

Ocean Safety personnel posted shark warnings in the area following the attack, Enright said.

Honolulu Ocean Safety Acting Chief Kurt Lager said Perry was “a lifeguard loved by all.”

“Tamayo's personality was infectious and as much as people loved him, he loved everyone else more," Lager said at a news conference.

“Tamayo was a legendary waterman and highly respected,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said, calling Perry’s death “a tragic loss.”

The last fatal shark incident in Hawaii was Dec. 30 when a man surfing off Maui was attacked about 150 yards (137 meters) from shore.

Thiessen reported from Anchorage, Alaska.

In this undated image released by the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, shows well-known Hawaii lifeguard Tamayo Perry who was killed in a shark attack, Sunday, June 23, 2024, off Ohau, Hawaii. (Honolulu Emergency Services Department via AP)

In this undated image released by the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, shows well-known Hawaii lifeguard Tamayo Perry who was killed in a shark attack, Sunday, June 23, 2024, off Ohau, Hawaii. (Honolulu Emergency Services Department via AP)

In this undated image released by Christa Funk, shows well-known Hawaii lifeguard Tamayo Perry and his wife Emilia posing for photograph with surf boards. Perry was killed in a shark attack, Sunday, June 23, 2024, off Ohau, Hawaii. (Christa Funk via AP)

In this undated image released by Christa Funk, shows well-known Hawaii lifeguard Tamayo Perry and his wife Emilia posing for photograph with surf boards. Perry was killed in a shark attack, Sunday, June 23, 2024, off Ohau, Hawaii. (Christa Funk via AP)

In this undated image released by Christa Funk, shows well-known Hawaii lifeguard Tamayo Perry pipeline surfing. Perry was killed in a shark attack, Sunday, June 23, 2024, off Ohau, Hawaii. (Christa Funk via AP)

In this undated image released by Christa Funk, shows well-known Hawaii lifeguard Tamayo Perry pipeline surfing. Perry was killed in a shark attack, Sunday, June 23, 2024, off Ohau, Hawaii. (Christa Funk via AP)

FILE - A surfer walks out of the ocean on Oahu's North Shore near Haleiwa, Hawaii, March 31, 2020. Authorities said a professional lifeguard died after he was attacked by a shark while surfing off the island of Oahu in Hawaii on Sunday afternoon, June 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

FILE - A surfer walks out of the ocean on Oahu's North Shore near Haleiwa, Hawaii, March 31, 2020. Authorities said a professional lifeguard died after he was attacked by a shark while surfing off the island of Oahu in Hawaii on Sunday afternoon, June 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

A leading far-right figure in the Israeli government visited Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site on Thursday, a move that threatened cease-fire talks to end the 9-month-old war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s Public Security Minister, said he went to the contested compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray for the return of Israeli hostages in Gaza and to pressure Israel’s prime minister to continue with the military campaign in the territory.

Israeli negotiators were in Cairo on Wednesday to press ahead with cease-fire talks, as Israel and Hamas consider the latest proposal.

Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack sparked the war when militants stormed into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducting about 250. Since then, Israeli ground offensives and bombardments have killed more than 38,600 people in Gaza, according to the territory’s Health Ministry. It does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

Hamas' Oct. 7 attack sparked the war when militants stormed into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducting about 250. Since then, Israeli ground offensives and bombardments have killed more than 38,600 people in Gaza, according to the territory’s Health Ministry. It does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

Two international courts have accused Israel of war crimes and genocide – charges Israel denies. Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are crammed into squalid tent camps in central and southern Gaza. Israeli restrictions, fighting and the breakdown of law and order have limited humanitarian aid efforts, causing widespread hunger and sparking fears of famine.

Here’s the latest:

BEIRUT — Israeli drone strikes early Thursday in Lebanon killed at least one person, who was identified as Mohammad Hamed Jabbara, one of the leaders of the militant Sunni al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, or Islamic Group.

In a statement, the political and militant group said Jabbara was killed in a strike in the western Bekaa area in Lebanon not far from the Syrian border. The group gave no further details but Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said the drone fired a rocket at him while he was driving a pickup truck.

The Israeli military described Jabara as a Hamas operative in Lebanon who helped coordinate Islamic Group attacks targeting northern Israel.

The armed wing of the Islamic Group, the Fajr Forces, has also attacked northern Israel alongside its allies, Hamas and the Lebanese group Hezbollah. Similarly to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the group’s founded was inspired by the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Elsewhere in Lebanon, an Israeli drone struck a civilian vehicle in a village near the southern coastal city of Tyre. It’s unclear who was in the vehicle and whether they were killed or wounded.

The Israeli military did not immediately comment on the strikes, though it has acknowledged in previous instances that its attacks have targeted Hezbollah militants and allies.

Hezbollah launched attacks against Israel after the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza on Oct. 7 with the Hamas attack on southern Israel.

Since then, Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon have killed over 450 people, mostly Hezbollah fighters but also more than 80 civilians and non-combatants. On the Israeli side, 21 soldiers and 13 civilians have been killed since the war in Gaza began.

Tens of thousands of people on both sides of the tense Lebanon-Israel frontier have been displaced in the monthslong war.

JERUSALEM — Israel’s parliament extended a temporary law which allows the country to shut down foreign media outlets they consider a threat to Israel’s security. In a marathon session that lasted until early Thursday morning, the parliament gave final approval to extend the emergency law until Nov. 30.

Israeli officials used the new law on May 5 to close Qatar-based Al Jazeera within Israel, confiscating its equipment, banning its broadcasts and blocking its websites.

Under the law, Israel’s Communications Ministry also briefly seized AP broadcasting equipment from southern Israel after accusing it of violating a new media law by providing images to Al Jazeera. The government returned the equipment to AP several hours later.

A bill that would make the emergency legislation permanent is currently making its way through the Israeli parliament. The draft said a permanent bill is needed because Israel “has faced serious security threats since its establishment and is expected to continue to face them in the future, possibly even more severely.”

Critics say the measure passed earlier this year is undemocratic and a threat to press freedom.

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Overnight Israeli strikes Thursday in central Gaza killed at least 11 people, including women and children.

Early Thursday an Israeli strike hit a house in central Gaza, killing at least six people, while another strike later hit a car, killing at least three. The dead were taken to the Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, where an Associated Press journalist counted the bodies.

Among the six killed in the early strike in Zawaida were two children and two women. The area struck is close to Deir al-Balah, where many Palestinians displaced from across the war-torn Gaza Strip have fled.

Meanwhile, Gaza’s Civil Defense organization said they pulled two dead bodies and seven wounded from the rubble following an Israeli airstrike in Bureij that hit a family house.

Israel’s military said it had targeted two commanders from the militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, one from the group's naval forces and the other responsible for launches in the city of Shujaiya.

Destroyed buildings stand in the Gaza Strip during the sunset as seen from southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Destroyed buildings stand in the Gaza Strip during the sunset as seen from southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Relatives and friends of Israeli soldiers who were killed and of those who were kidnapped during the Oct. 7 Hamas cross-border attack take part in a march in southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, demanding the creation of a committee of inquiry to investigate the events on that day. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Relatives and friends of Israeli soldiers who were killed and of those who were kidnapped during the Oct. 7 Hamas cross-border attack take part in a march in southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, demanding the creation of a committee of inquiry to investigate the events on that day. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a session of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a session of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses lawmakers in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses lawmakers in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

FILE - This image provided by the U.S. Army shows trucks loaded with humanitarian aid from the United Arab Emirates and the United States Agency for International Development cross the Trident Pier before arriving on the beach on the Gaza Strip, May 17, 2024. The U.S. military-built pier to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza is being dismantled and brought home, ending a mission that has been fraught with weather and security problems. (Staff Sgt. Malcolm Cohens-Ashley/U.S. Army via AP, File)

FILE - This image provided by the U.S. Army shows trucks loaded with humanitarian aid from the United Arab Emirates and the United States Agency for International Development cross the Trident Pier before arriving on the beach on the Gaza Strip, May 17, 2024. The U.S. military-built pier to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza is being dismantled and brought home, ending a mission that has been fraught with weather and security problems. (Staff Sgt. Malcolm Cohens-Ashley/U.S. Army via AP, File)

Palestinians pray next to the bodies of their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at a hospital morgue in Deir al-Balah, Tuesday, July 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinians pray next to the bodies of their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at a hospital morgue in Deir al-Balah, Tuesday, July 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Mahmoud Rayhan, who was displaced by the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, stands at a makeshift tent camp in Khan Younis, Wednesday, June 26, 2024. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza are struggling to maintain their mental health with few resources and no safe places to recover after nine months of war. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Mahmoud Rayhan, who was displaced by the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, stands at a makeshift tent camp in Khan Younis, Wednesday, June 26, 2024. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza are struggling to maintain their mental health with few resources and no safe places to recover after nine months of war. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

FILE - The image provided by U.S, Central Command, shows U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), U.S. Navy sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, and Israel Defense Forces placing the Trident Pier on the coast of Gaza Strip on May 16, 2024. The U.S. military-built pier to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza is being dismantled and brought home, ending a mission that has been fraught with weather and security problems. (U.S. Central Command via AP)

FILE - The image provided by U.S, Central Command, shows U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), U.S. Navy sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, and Israel Defense Forces placing the Trident Pier on the coast of Gaza Strip on May 16, 2024. The U.S. military-built pier to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza is being dismantled and brought home, ending a mission that has been fraught with weather and security problems. (U.S. Central Command via AP)

The sun sets behind the buildings in the Gaza Strip as seen from southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

The sun sets behind the buildings in the Gaza Strip as seen from southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Palestinian Mahmoud Mikdad holds the body of his 21-month-old child Yaman, killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at a hospital morgue in Deir al-Balah, Tuesday, July 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinian Mahmoud Mikdad holds the body of his 21-month-old child Yaman, killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at a hospital morgue in Deir al-Balah, Tuesday, July 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Relatives and friends of Israeli soldiers who were killed and of those who were kidnapped during the Oct. 7 Hamas cross-border attack take part in a march in southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, demanding the creation of a committee of inquiry to investigate the events on that day. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Relatives and friends of Israeli soldiers who were killed and of those who were kidnapped during the Oct. 7 Hamas cross-border attack take part in a march in southern Israel, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, demanding the creation of a committee of inquiry to investigate the events on that day. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

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