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Hollywood: “Pirates of The Caribbean” Actor and Surfing Legend Tamayo Perry Killed in Hawaii Shark Attack

June 25, 2024

Tamayo Perry, a celebrated Hawaii surfer and lifeguard known for his extraordinary skills and magnetic personality, tragically lost his life in an apparent shark attack on Sunday. The 49-year-old was a familiar face on Oahu’s north shore, where he was born, raised, and spent his life both riding waves and safeguarding beachgoers.

Perry’s impressive surfing abilities and charismatic presence had landed him roles in Hollywood movies, including a part in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” His legacy, however, was firmly rooted in the surfing community, where he was admired for his daring feats and dedication to ocean safety.

The Honolulu Emergency Services Department confirmed that a 911 caller reported Perry’s body showing signs of multiple shark bites. Emergency responders reached Mālaekahana Beach shortly before 1 p.m. on jet skis, but despite their efforts, Perry was pronounced dead upon reaching the shore.

“It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of one of our incredibly dedicated City and County of Honolulu lifeguards, who tragically lost his life today in an apparent shark attack on the North Shore,” stated Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “His heroic actions and tireless efforts to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors will never be forgotten.”

Acting Ocean Safety Chief Kurt Lage described Perry as an individual with an infectious personality who was highly regarded within the global surfing community. Perry was best known for his mastery of Pipeline, the North Shore’s infamous wave, which he described as “the world’s deadliest wave.”

Perry’s surfing career took off in 1999 when he won the trials section of the Pipeline Masters, a victory that elevated him to the forefront of professional surfing. His prowess opened doors to other prestigious events, including the renowned Teahupo’o contest in Tahiti. Perry’s commitment and respect for the ocean were evident in his biography on the Oahu Surfing Experience website, where he emphasized the demands and dangers of tackling such formidable waves.

Despite his international acclaim, Perry remained deeply connected to his local community, often returning to lifeguard work on Oahu’s beaches. His near-death experience in 2005, where he sustained a severe head injury from a stray surfboard, reinforced his dedication to educating others about water safety and surfing etiquette.

“He’s a world-class waterman,” said longtime friend Jason Bitzer, highlighting Perry’s unparalleled knowledge of the ocean. “He really just kind of embodies aloha. If you were to see him at the tower at Pipeline, he doesn’t care who you are, he’s going to talk to you.”

Perry’s death has left a void in both the local and global surfing communities. His friend and former lifeguard Jason Bitzer reflected on the unpredictable nature of the ocean and Perry’s lifelong bond with it. “The water can be the biggest giver or the biggest taker, all depending on the day. So never take it for granted, the ocean. And all honestly, if this could happen to Tamayo, it could happen to anyone.”

Tamayo Perry is survived by his wife, Emilia, and his father. His contributions to surfing and ocean safety, as well as his roles in films like “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and TV shows such as “Lost” and the contemporary “Hawaii: Five-O,” ensure his memory will endure.


NBC News

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