Surfer Kelly Slater Saves Child, Mother After Rogue Wave Sweeps Them Away


Don’t call Kelly Slater a hero: the 11-time World Surf League champion was just in the right place at the right time.

After getting rejected by a giant closeout wave at Waimea Bay in Oahu, Hawaii, Slater took a different route home than he normally does. Photographer Chris White was with his wife, Sarah, and young son, Van, when a giant rogue wave crashed over the guard rail at Kamehameha Highway and swept Sarah and Van away.

Fortunately, Slater was there to save the day.

Slater wouldn’t take all the credit, though.

“@chris.whitey thank you!,” Slater commented on White’s Instagram post, as transcribed by The Inertia. “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. 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!”

A humble response from a humble hero.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Bielmann/USA TODAY Sports Images

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