Surfers around the world honor and remember Andy Irons

Courtesy: Terry Lilley
Courtesy: Terry Lilley
Andy Irons
Andy Irons

By Keahi Tucker - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - I spoke with Andy's father Phil today. He's in Dallas taking care of the necessary arrangements and expects to be coming home later this week.

He wants all of Andy's friends and fans, everyone who's sent their love, to know his family appreciates their support in this very difficult time.

A tribute on the morning surf report set the tone as Hawaii's best surfers gathered today for the very contest that launched Andy Irons' career... The HIC Pro at Pipeline, where the then 17 year old from Kauai stunned the surf world with his first professional win.

A contest now dedicated in his memory.

Meantime, an ocean away in Puerto Rico, Andy's other family of international pro surfers paddled out with flowers and prayers.

In life, Irons has been an inspiration and role model to countless young surfers who idolized his moves, and his competitive drive.

In death, Irons' is being called a legend and an icon. His star power, attracting attention far beyond the surf world.

As tabloids have picked up the story, and are now following the investigation into his death.

Here's what we know for sure: Irons' had been suffering a viral disease, believed to be Dengue Fever. He withdrew from the contest in Puerto Rice and caught a flight home alone.

But Irons was so ill, he was removed from his flight in Dallas and spent the night in a hotel where he died in his sleep.

His cause of death is undetermined, pending a toxicology report.

Back on the beach on Oahu's north shore, every surfer charging huge Pipeline today was surfing for Andy... The greatest competitive surfer in Hawaii history... A young man with a legacy cut short.

Andy Irons' father, Phil, is not only devastated by the loss, he's also upset that his son was taken off the plane and left alone when he was in such bad shape.

We'll stay in touch with the Irons' family and bring you any developments in the days ahead.

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