Hawaii Lifeguard Dies in Shark Attack While Surfing Off Oahu

Hawaii Lifeguard Dies in Shark Attack While Surfing Off Oahu
A surfer walks out of the ocean on Oahu's North Shore near Haleiwa, Hawaii on March 31, 2020. (Caleb Jones/AP Photo)
The Associated Press
Updated:
0:00

A professional lifeguard died after he was attacked by a shark while surfing off the island of Oahu in Hawaii on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety lifeguard Tamayo Perry, 49, died in the attack near Goat Island, Shayne Enright of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department said in a statement.

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

Lifeguards brought Mr. Perry to shore by jet ski and paramedics assisted with the death pronouncement, Mr. Enright said.

Mr. Perry, who worked as a lifeguard on the North Shore, began his career with the Ocean Safety department in July 2016, Mr. Enright said.

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

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

“He’s well known on the North Shore. He’s a professional surfer known worldwide,” Mr. Lager said at a news conference. “Tamayo’s personality was infectious and as much as people loved him, he loved everyone else more.”

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