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Photographer discusses his injuries after Jet Ski he was on launched off a giant wave

Updated: Jan. 20, 2021 at 11:56 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A California surf photographer is still hospitalized in Honolulu five days after breaking his back in a big wave accident at Himalayas on Oahu’s North Shore.

Ryan Moss was getting shots of professional surfers risking their lives when he ended up nearly dying.

“I just remember going, ‘Oh [expletive], if I don’t get over this wave, this is not going to be good.’”

Video shows Moss climbing to the top of a massive wave with his Jet Ski before going airborne. Several moments later, he came crashing down.

“I remember not being able to feel legs,” Moss said. “I just full went into survival mode and started swimming with my arms.”

His friend, a fellow surf photographer, was nearby and rushed to save him.

“I turned around to look back and I noticed that there were some jet skis that had nobody on top of them, there were some people swimming in the water,” said Daniel Russo.

“The first person that I went to was Ryan and he said that his back was hurting, and so I got him on top of my sled on the back of my jet ski and took him a little bit further out to safety.”

Russo says he brought Moss to a lifeguard’s Jet Ski and phoned 911 from the ocean so an ambulance was there by the time he made it to shore.

Both men had no idea how bad Moss’ injury was but they knew he needed to make it to a hospital.

“When he told me his back was hurting, and I said, ‘Can you feel your feet? Can you feel anything?’ He said it was tingling. That was the first sign where I was like oh [expletive],” Russo said.

“I knew something was seriously wrong with my back,” Moss said.

Moss suffered a compressed vertebrae in his lower back and went through hours of surgery. He is finally on the road to recovery with the help from family, friends, even strangers.

“It just makes you want to fight harder and just shows how many people actually do care about you,” said Moss.

Moss hopes to be out of the hospital by Friday and then move into a rehabilitation facility.

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