Pirates of the Caribbean Surfer Dies Shark Attack

A “legendary” Honolulu surfer, lifeguard and actor who appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise died this weekend after a shark attack, the city’s Emergency Services Department announced at a press conference, where the mournful tone was punctuated with praise for the famous and beloved local.

Tamayo Perry died Sunday in the attack near Goat Island, according to Shayne Enright of the Honolulu ESD. Perry was 49 years old.

Moments before 1 p.m. local time on Sunday, Honolulu Ocean Safety responded to emergency calls regarding a surfer being attacked around Mālaekahana Beach on Oahu’s North Shore. Enright said at a press conference following the tragedy that Honolulu Ocean Safety responders on jet skis rode out to the scene of the attack; they were unable to assist Perry when they arrived and returned to the shore with Perry’s body. Once brought onto the beach, Perry was pronounced dead by Honolulu emergency medical technicians.

Perry’s body had signs of having been bitten more than once by the shark that ultimately killed him. He had a leg and an arm missing, according to Surfer Today.

“This is [an] extremely difficult time for all of us. I ask for your kindness and your patience as we all just try to get through this next hour into these next weeks and months,” Enright said.

Local officials had kind words to say about Perry, considered a local legend. Honolulu Ocean Safety Acting Chief Kurt Lager said Perry was “a lifeguard loved by all who was well known on the North Shore. He’s a professional surfer known worldwide.”

“Tamayo’s personality was infectious and as much as people loved him, he loved everyone else more,” Lager added. He then echoed the request for privacy for Perry’s family.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi also spoke about Perry’s life and death at the press conference.

“It’s just a tragic loss. Tamayo was a legendary water man and highly respected. He grew up right over here, and was just a great member of our Ocean Safety Team. So you get a call like this on a Sunday afternoon, it’s just really hard to imagine,” the mayor added.

Surfer Today reports that Perry was born in 1975 and raised on Oahu’s East Side, where he first hopped on a surfboard at the age of 12. One of his close pals in his teen years was musician Jack Johnson, according to the publication. Perry became famous as the master of Pipeline, or surfing through the large hollow curls of water that can form on reefs. Over the years he competed in events like the Billabong Pro Trials and Pipe Masters Trials, where he took the victory prize, as the magazine reports.

Perry’s role in the massively popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was a notable moment in his career onscreen, which also includes appearances in the 2002 female-led surfing movie Blue Crush and on the CBS series Hawaii Five-0 as well as stunts in the comedy The Big Bounce.

A bio on the website for the Oahu Surfing Experience indicated that Perry and his wife, Emilia, were its owners and instructors.

“Being from the Hawaiian Islands and being former professional athletes makes us well-known and well-liked here on Oahu and especially in the North Shore community,” the website reads, letting potential students know that their ties to the community and surf scene will help ease them into the world of catching waves on the North Shore.

Following his death, Ocean Safety personnel placed warnings along the beach about potential sharks in the water.

Perry’s Instagram account shows that in life, he had a deep appreciation for the ocean and beach.

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