Kala Grace In Dramatic Rescue While Competing In Backdoor Shootout
Yesterday, Pipeline again showed how dangerous it can be, but also how deceiving it can be.
At 1:45, 24-year old Kala Grace who caught the wave of the day two days back, pulled into a closeout at Pipeline. That wave, however, wasn't the one that injured Grace, though it did rip his helmet off. Still, Grace surfaced quickly afterwards, reeled in his board, and went to duckdive the rest of the set.
Facing the whitewash without a helmet, the next wave, already broken, drove Grace into the bottom.
Video footage shows events unfolding though it's hard to follow as three surfers left the beach to paddle out just before Grace took off, then Grace himself appeared to be OK, while his helmet floats loosely giving the impression of another surfer stricken in the whitewash.
Water patrol, however, acted immediately. Replay footage begins at 5:44:30.
Grace was brought to shore unconcious where lifeguards performed at least one round of cardio pulmonary resuscitation. After this, he began to breathe before being placed on advanced life support and transported to Queens Medical Center, Waikiki.
Grace's father, Willie Grace, told Hawaii News Now: ' [Kala] probably bounced off the reef, he had a big scar right above his eye and right below. He was kind of purple when they brought him in.”
"Kala's helmet came off on a big wave, and the next wave slammed him under cracking his head open above his left eye."
Billy Kemper was one of Grace's first responders and was thanked by Willie Grace. Kemper also injured himself at the Backdoor Shootout. Makua Rothman went to hospital with a torn MCL.