Photographer captures unexpected 'monster' swell off Kauai

Image Source: Terry Lilley
Image Source: Terry Lilley

KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Terry Lilley has quite a story to tell, over the weekend the photographer traveled to Kalalau on Kauai's north shore for a couple of days of scuba diving, surfing and a chance to study the reefs in the area.

"I have never seen anything like what happened Sunday," said Lilley. "There was a five foot swell predicted and I had just done several scuba dives off my red zodiac at Nualolo and Milolii documenting the coral disease I have been studying."

Lilley speared a few fish for dinner and then anchored his zodiac in 40 feet of water offshore.

"Well, it did not work too well. The next morning the surf at Kalalau came up to 20-foot faces with bigger sets! There was no wind which is unusual and the waves were combining to make some giant rouge waves," said Lilley.

Lilley says he could not get out through the surf to move his zodiac out to deeper water. He even radioed the Coast Guard for some help.

Unfortunately, before the Coast Guard arrived a giant wave came in and the zodiac went over the falls. "The engine stayed on the boat as it flipped twice then ended up on shore in one piece. A bunch of people watching the crazy event helped me drag the boat up on shore and it looked like there was not too much damage. No way to start it as the gas tanks were full of water."

With no boat Lilley had to hike out of Kalalau for 11 hours with an injured leg.

"What a crazy couple of days. Well at least I got some awesome pictures," said Lilley.

To view the photos on a mobile device click here - .

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