Sunny Garcia: one of the best power surfers of all time | Photo: WSL

Sunny Garcia is in critical condition in an intensive care unit (ICU) in Portland, Oregon, after reportedly attempting suicide.

The 49-year-old surfer from Hawaii was found unresponsive and unconscious in his home and taken to the hospital.

Early reports from a Brazilian media outlet suggested the Hawaiian surfer had passed away, but the rumors were not true. Actually, Garcia is breathing without medical assistance.

Sunny has been battling depression for a few years and has been talking about it publicly since 2014.

"When you should be happy, and you have no idea what's going on in your brain, it was just a thought - more than wanting to actually end my life," Sunny told the Star-Advertiser in 2015.

"At first, I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to see a doctor and put on medication. So, I reached out on social media, the best place to get good results from real people."

Garcia had meetings with sports psychologists who helped him in the early stages.

"I want to live a good life and have fun with my kids and watch my grandkids grow old. I want to live life.

Sunny Garcia: he won the 2000 ASP World Tour | Photo: WSL

A Controversial Power Surfer

Vincent Sennen Garcia was born on January 14, 1970, in Maili, Oahu, Hawaii. His nickname - Sunny - was given by his mother for his cheerful disposition as a child.

Garcia won the 2000 ASP World Tour and still is the only surfer to have won six Triple Crown of Surfing titles.

Sunny Garcia has always been controversial and intense. And that shows in his surfing. The Hawaiian is widely considered one of the most competent power surfers in the history of the sport.

In the 1990s, the North Shore surfer struggled with cocaine addiction.

In 2006, he was sentenced to three months in prison for tax evasion. According to the court, Garcia failed to report prize money from contest winnings from 1996 to 2001.

In 2011, the ASP suspended Sunny Garcia from competition after the Hawaiian attacked a surfer and a cameraman on the Gold Coast.

Despite his volatile personality, Sunny Garcia is a friendly and likable character who is always willing to help others.

The athlete volunteers for Surfers Healing and Mauli Ola Foundation and is often seen participating in beach cleanups. Garcia is also a strong supporter of the Hawaiian culture.

Sunny Garcia: the Hawaiian has six Triple Crown of Surfing titles in his trophy room | Photo: WSL

Stay Strong, Sunny

The news of Garcia's suicide attempt shocked his friends. But they remain positive about the outcome.

"I can't believe it, champ! You're in our thoughts and prayers. You're one of the best and fiercest competitors in the world to ever come from Hawaii," expressed Johnny Boy Gomes.

"I love how he speaks his mind, lets the judges know how he feels all the time and doesn't give a f*** what people think."

"It's not your time yet, my brother! You are a warrior and always will be. Hold on and fight!" added Jeremy Flores.

"Sunny: I love you, brother. I can't even fathom you not here. We've got so much more living to do before we are done. There have been hard times, but there have been so many good ones, too. Just praying you wake up and we get more of you," wrote Kelly Slater.

"You are the big brother I never had. My idol! My hero! Always there for me, protecting me, and guiding me. I wish I could call you and talk to you again. Make my wish come true. Please wake up!" urged Ezekiel Lau.

Are you concerned about someone who may be thinking about suicide? Ensure he or she has access to mental health professionals. Seek help; take him or her for a surf and talk about the problem.

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