Everyday Heroes

Gary Kewley
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Friday - August 18, 2006
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Jay Moore
Jay Moore

Aloha, surfers and surfettes! As we begin to wind down the summer of 2006, we can be stoked! We’ve had about one swell per week ... give or take ... and though we haven’t had many BIG swells, it’s been quite enough to keep us wet. Plus, the winter “Down Under” is not showing signs of shutting down. In fact, starting Sunday we have a Tazman Sea or southwest swell. Then next week - Tuesday through Thursday - is looking good enough for at least 4-footers from the direct south angle! Stay waxed and ready ... and click surfnewsnetwork.com or call 638-r.u.s.h. for juicy details.

You know, I cover lots of competitions, events and “famous” personalities of our sport, but what about the regular surfer? The ones we don’t hear about, but are always out there getting their thrill on. These guys and girls don’t surf for the recognition ... they surf for the “fun-ignition.” When you look out there and see the “pack” or just the dirty-dozen dawn patrol, you’re looking at the ones I’m taking about - just you and me.

What’s so good about this is that within our everyday surfer crowd, we’ve got some everyday heroes.

Meet Jay Moore. One day Jay was doing what he loves more than anything, surfing. It was his usual game plan - but with an unusual twist. On this day, he would help save a person’s life.

The headlines of May 23 read “A 50-year-old woman was taken to The Queen’s Medical Center in critical condition yesterday afternoon after she was run over by a kayaker about 100 yards offshore at Waikiki. City Emergency Medical Services technicians arrived at 2:29 p.m. to render aid to the woman, who was pulled from the water by other swimmers and surfers after she was found, unconscious, floating face down. Bryan Cheplic, city EMS spokesman, said she suffered a “‘very large’ cut on the back of her head.”

When I asked Jay if he could give me the story he said: “I really didn’t want any recognition; it was just something that happened. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.”

OK, Jay, no problem. I won’t tell anyone (I lied).

Jay Moore: “I was surfing Tongs one afternoon. I don’t ever really surf Tongs. I kinda just had an impulse to go and see what I could get. Before that I had been rather frustrated with surfing in town and I just wanted to surf a non-aggro spot for once. It wasn’t too bad a day. All the long-boarders were sitting outside, and I was cheating them by sitting super deep on the inside, you know, that racy left that lines up.

“I had this weird feeling the whole time I was out there. I kept thinking that I would find someone floating in the water. After about an hour, I caught one of those good lefts and raced it all the way to the inside. On the way back out, I saw a board just floating in the water and I thought, “!@#$, that’s going to be somebody.” It wasn’t. I was just trip-pin’ myself out.

“As it turns out, about 15 minutes later, I caught another one all the way inside. When paddling back out, I saw a woman floating face down in the water. My heart jumped into my throat. I began to yell to get other people’s attention, but there weren’t too many people where she was at. I paddled as quickly as I could over to her and rolled her over. By the time I got to her, this guy, an Aussie, I think, heard me and also began to paddle over to us on his long board. Before he got to me and her a set came in. I grabbed onto her and went under like four waves. After emerging out from under the last wave, the Aussie paddled over to us. I ripped my leash off and let my board go. We were pretty far out, too, and kinda in the channel. Then the Aussie and I threw her on the board and began to swim her in.

“Another guy came over, too, and began to help us swim her in. I was behind pushing the tail with one hand, swimming with the other, and kicking my feet as hard as I could. The Aussie was holding on to her, telling her she was going to be all right. The third guy was grabbing onto the front and doing the same thing I was doing. I was beginning to get tired, and I looked up at her and noticed she had a large gash behind her ear. It was bleeding profusely. We yelled to a guy paddling out to call 911. After about five minutes, she sorta regained consciousness. She started to moan and spit up white foam.

“The Aussie was really great. He was telling her to not worry and that everything was going to be all right. Amazing, really. I don’t know if she could hear him or understand, but his demeanor alone must have been understood by her. We finally got her in. By then a few people were gathered on the beach and helped us lift her above our heads and carry her over the reef, and to the street where the paramedics and firemen had already arrived.

“The rest was all them. I didn’t really stay around long after that. I shook hands with the Aussie and the other fellow who helped get her in. It was really an emotional thing for me. I hope that somebody will be there if that ever happens to me. I think a single man canoe surfer ran her over. But that’s pretty much it ... I left a few details out I think but the gist is here.”

Thank you, Jay, and to our unknown Aussie and friends who helped save someone (name unknown) in time a great need. You inspire us all.

GQ, dropping In 4 U!

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