Dusty Payne, who just last month won the Pipeline Trials event that sent him into the Billabong Pipeline Masters, was apparently surfing at the storied North Shore break this morning when he took off on a steep drop at Backdoor. According to video footage taken, the 29-year-old Maui native didn’t make the drop and apparently hit his head on the reef. Around five waves passed in the nearly minute and a half he was underwater. A group of surfers apparently noticed he was underwater and moved in to rescue him after he wasn’t resurfacing.
According to reports, Payne was taken to the hospital where he was conscious and breathing. There was reportedly a lot of blood on the beach when he was brought to shore. It was a difficult year for Payne, who fell off the World Tour and suffered through a serious back injury that required surgery. He did, however, have a starring role in the film Paradigm Lost, Kai Lenny’s new flick that included a handful of Maui chargers, and surfed brilliantly during the Pipe trials.
“Just got word from his dad that he is awake and conscious,” Matty Schweitzer, a Maui surfer and filmmaker who grew up with Payne told The Inertia. “He has movement in his hands, arms and legs but they are still checking CTs. Very scary stuff as he was unconscious for over 2.5 minutes and underwater for 5 waves.” Schweitzer also added that Payne broke bones in his face and jaw and knocked out some teeth.
The Inertia staff is sending out good vibes to the Payne family at this time.
This story is moving quickly and will be updated as more information becomes available.