GOOD NEWS

Pro Surfer Rescues Woman Struggling In Rough Water On Hawaii’s North Shore

Jan 3, 2021, 5:50 PM
(CNN)...
(CNN)
(CNN)

(CNN) — A professional surfer is being hailed as a hero after rescuing a woman swept into the powerful waves of the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii.

Mikey Wright was enjoying a beer and filming the waves on Oahu’s North Shore on December 31 when he realized something was wrong. He asked his wife to hold his phone and beer, jumped over the fence and ran onto the beach, as seen in a video.

“We just seen this wave come up and sweep this lady off the rocks and started to drag her out to sea,” Wright told CNN. “It all happened really fast and we kind of had to jump right into action.”

The 24-year-old surfer managed to get to the woman and hold onto her as the waves thrashed against them, talking to her repeatedly.

“I said, ‘We’re going to be all right,'” Wright said. “‘You’re going to get in. It’s OK.’ And I just kept telling her that and kept telling her to just hold on and don’t let go.”

As they were nearing shore and just starting to stand up, a large surge of water came. Wright jumped while holding the woman to avoid the brunt of the waves and the sharp rocks beneath them.

Others were starting to run down to the water to help, but they weren’t able to get close. Among them was Wright’s sister, Tyler, herself a pro surfer who won first place in the Maui Pro last month.

When Mikey Wright and the woman got close enough, Tyler and the group helped pull the pair up the beach to safety. The woman has not been identified.

After they were both safely on shore, the woman thanked him repeatedly, said she was OK and didn’t have any deep cuts, Wright said. “I think I’m just a little bit shocked,” Wright said she told him.

The woman’s son ran down and thanked the surfer in between tears, Wright said.

“It was very emotional and (he) just kept saying, ‘Thank you. You saved my mother. I thought she was gone,'” he said. “It was a very special moment.”

The North Shore Lifeguard Association lauded Wright and the public for the rescue.

“This lady is so lucky to be alive,” the organization wrote on Instagram. “The North Shore surf can sweep up and grab you at anytime.”

There was a high surf warning in the area on the day of the incident, according to the National Weather Service. Swells reached up to 15 feet that day.

Wright said the woman had not been trying to get into the water.

“That lady had no intention of swimming. It was a 15-foot swell about where she was,” Wright said. “The wave had washed up and dragged her out.”

He warned people the ocean can be unpredictable.

“Always be on your toes,” he said. “You never know what the ocean can do. And, don’t turn your back on it for a second.”

Wright was in Hawaii for the 2020 Billabong Pipeline Masters event, held December 8-20.

This isn’t the first time Wright has had to save someone from the waves. He grew up in Culburra Beach, Australia, where he and his siblings had seen people dragged out into the ocean.

“It’s just something that, growing up in Australia or in a small town on the ocean, you do learn lifesaving skills,” he said.

Despite saving the woman, the surfer said the real heroes are the everyday lifeguards.

“It’s a very nice compliment, but the real heroes are the ones that do this day in, day out here on the North Shore,” he told CNN. “The North Shore Lifeguard Association, they save our lives when we’re surfing pipeline. They’ve helped my brother. They’ve helped me before.”

The lifeguards were busy saving someone else on the beach while Wright was helping the woman, he said.

“They actually had something else going on down the beach that someone needed saving,” he said. “For me to be able to help out, it was a good moment.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Good News

...
Andrew Adams, KSL TV

Community writes hand-written notes to Utah foster kids for their graduations

For kids in the foster care system—several strangers gathered Wednesday night at the Urban Arts Gallery at The Gateway to show support and honor their success.
29 days ago
...
Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Utah veteran works to bring home WWII soldier lost at sea after possible aircraft discovered

The Utah man has been working to keep his story alive was recently contacted by an Italian diver whose team just found a sunken B-17 that is a likely match.
1 month ago
FILE: Mortgage rates just hit a 12-year high. In this image taken with a drone, new townhouses are ...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV

Two Utah gold star families get their mortgages paid off for Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has paid, in full, the mortgages on the West Valley home of Army Staff Sergeant Paul Olmstead and the Farr West home of Air Force Major Brad Funk. 
1 month ago
Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds, Velour owner Corey Fox and Zions Bank regional manager Nick Whiting....
Josh Ellis, KSL TV

Imagine Dragons, Zions Bank surprise Velour owner with paid-off mortgage

Imagine Dragons’ lead singer Dan Reynolds surprised Velour owner Corey Fox with a "paid in full" mortgage note, just over a year after learning Fox was struggling to make payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 months ago
(KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Spring Up with Casey: Relaxing with ice baths and breathing techniques

KSL TV's Casey Scott joined us at Inner Alchemy in Millcreek to talk about the mental and physical benefits of breathing, before he took a plunge in a relaxing ice bath.
2 months ago
...
Brittany Tait, KSL TV

Neighbors remodel home for Utah teen paralyzed in ski accident

A South Ogden teen came home to a warm welcome after spending nearly two months in the hospital following a ski accident that left him paralyzed.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Pro Surfer Rescues Woman Struggling In Rough Water On Hawaii’s North Shore