Prayer vigil held for missing big wave surfer - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Prayer vigil held for missing big wave surfer

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HALEIWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

So far the searchers gone over 1,500 square miles of ocean looking for Kirk Passmore, but there is still no sign of the 32 year old big wave surfer who disappeared yesterday.

Family, friends and surfers showed up for a prayer vigil at Leftovers surf spot near Haleiwa. Some had flowers. Others brought candles and a guitar and all have heavy hearts.

Passmore's roommate Dewey Speakman says Kirk was stoked Wednesday morning, like a kid going to Disneyland because the surf was so good.

Surf photographer Jeremiah Klein was shooting pictures at the time Passmore went down. He says this is a sobering reality of the dangers of big wave surfing.

"I'm just documenting the beauty of waves these guys who are putting their life on the line but you don't really think about it until something serious happens and obviously when life is lost that's pretty tragic, especially when it's a likeable guy," said Jeremiah Klein, surf photographer for Surfline.com.

Search conditions were rough Thursday with high surf and poor visibility. The Coast Guard, Honolulu Fire Department and Ocean Safety Lifeguards teamed up and searched the area with helicopters, boats, jet skis and spotters on the shore. They also floated buoys and were following the patterns of the current going back and forth in a methodic formation.

"We are going to search throughout the night. The Coast Guard does have the capability to search through the night. Both with our helicopters and night vision goggles and our cutters with big search lights," said Lt. Commander Nick Worst, US Coast Guard.

Surfers who were out catching waves with Passmore at the time tried to rescue him but more huge waves over 20 feet high came in over them and they were not able to hang on.

They think he may have broken his ear drum because he had no equilibrium and was swimming down and not up.

The search will continue into Friday afternoon.

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