• April 15, 2024 3:53 AM

Eddie Aikau was a Hawaiian lifeguard and surfer. As the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay on the island of Oahu, he saved over 500 people and became famous for surfing the big Hawaiian surf, winning several awards.

In 1978, Aikau was among a handful selected to join the cultural expedition of the Polynesian, double-hulled voyaging canoe Hokule’a, which set sail from the Hawaiian Islands on March 16, 1978 – more specifically from Magic Island, Oahu – and bound for Tahiti.

Hokule’a soon encountered treacherous seas outside the Hawaiian Islands, and the canoe capsized.

On March 17, after a wild night adrift, Aikau paddled his board toward Lanai, searching for help for his stranded crew members.

He was never seen again. The ensuing search for Aikau was the largest air-sea search in Hawaiian history. The body and soul of the well-known Hawaiian lifeguard and surfer lie on the Pacific Ocean forever.

Ironically, the rest of the crew was later rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Cape Corwin.

In Eddie Aikau’s honor, “The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational” Waimea Bay Big Wave Surf Contest was held on Jan 22, 2023 in massive 30-50ft waves, for the first time since February 25, 2016.

Eddie Would Go !! – Footage via Reveal Hawaii Media (Youtube Channel – @alohahappylife)