Experienced surfer missing on the North Shore

November 14, 2013 | Surfing
Alligator Rock: the pass from Waimea Bay

An experienced big wave surfer is missing after suffering a wipeout at Alligator Rock, on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Kirk Passmore was last seen catching a 20-foot wave, wiping out, and getting hit by a second wave, in Haleiwa.

The 32-year-old, who runs the Third Stone local surf shop, was the only wave rider that wasn't using a floatation vest. Jamie Sterling was surfing the spot, at the same time.

"He was seen swimming down with his feet up above the surface and we think he broke his ear drum because what happens when you break your eardrum is you have a complete loss of balance and you have vertigo", says Sterling.

"So you have vertigo and he was swimming the opposite way and another wave came over him. So he had a two-wave hold-down. And after that, we didn't see any more of him and we couldn't spot him."

Surfers and rescuers on jet skis immediately started to look for him, but only his partially damaged surfboard was found down the beach.

Kirk Passmore is an experienced surfer. He moved from California two years ago, and he also worked as a bartender, in a Haleiwa restaurant.

Todd Chesser lost his life at Alligator Rock, in 1997.