NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A respected member of Hawaii’s surfing community and a self-described ‘barrelholic’ died Thursday after being pulled unresponsive from the waters off Ehukai Beach Park on Oahu.
Friends and witnesses have identified the victim as Marcus Biju, a bodysurfer who frequented the waters off the North Shore.
Ocean Safety officials say Biju — identified at the time only as a man in his 40s — was critically injured when he was discovered unresponsive Thursday morning. He was pulled from the water at around 7:30 a.m.
Officials say other surfers and beachgoers immediately began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Paramedics transported him to the Kahuku Medical Center in critical condition, where he later died.
“Just to lose a friend like that, out of the blue, is just something that nobody’s ready for it,” said Guilherme Tamega, a friend of Biju’s and a world bodyboarding champ. “He was always smiling and spreads the aloha all over the island wherever he goes.”
Lifeguards were not on duty at the time of the incident, as they begin at 9 a.m. at Ehukai Beach Park, according to an Ocean Safety spokesperson.
Surf on Thursday ranged from 3 to 5 feet.