HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui professional surfer Dusty Payne was seriously injured Monday after a serious wipeout at Backdoor on Oahu's North Shore.
The situation could've been much worse if it wasn't for the quick response of fellow surfers in the water and from lifeguards.
Payne, who won the Pipe Invitational on the North Shore just weeks ago, wiped out and crashed into the reef, according to eyewitnesses.
Fellow surfers and photographers sprung into action after the Maui native failed to surface after at least two waves went by, helping the then-unconscious 29-year-old to shore, where he received emergency medical attention.
Freesurf photographer Keoki Saguibo and Kauai-native surfer Jimmy 'Uluboy' Napeahi were the first to notice that something was wrong in the moments following the accident.
"I was paddling back out at Pipeline and I noticed Dusty was taking off on a wave," Napeahi told Hawaii News Now. "It was really steep of course, and it was a bad place to fall. And he fell."
If it wasn't for the quick thinking of Saguibo, Napeahi says, Payne might've been in much worse condition.
"Keoki was shooting the wave the entire time. He kept his eye on Dusty the entire time," Said Napeahi. "And all of a sudden he yelled and starting swimming as fast as he could. He got their first and did spinal control with his neck, and I straddled his legs around my hips and swam into the beach."
Lifeguards took over once Payne was brought to the beach, and he was transported to the hospital in serious condition.
Payne is now reportedly conscious, but remains hospitalized.
The accident came on a dangerous day for surf on Oahu's North Shore.
About 11:45 a.m., a surfer died after getting into trouble off Rocky Point. The surfer was said to be in his 50s or 60s.
This story will be updated.