Big wave surfer Sion Milosky dies at Mavericks

Published: Mar. 17, 2011 at 2:23 AM HST|Updated: Mar. 18, 2011 at 12:55 AM HST
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By Keahi Tucker - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Professional surfer Sion Milosky died today in California, while catching giant waves at a legendary surf spot, Mavericks, near San Francisco.

Word of Sion's death began spreading just a few hours ago, and people in the surf community are stunned. His many closed friends are devastated.

Kind and courageous, 35 year old Sion Milosky, was in the prime of his life. In April, he made headlines in Transworld Surf Magazine, with the title, "Sion Rules the Winter."

Despite his growing fame, the ever humble and hardworking father of two, was still relatively unknown outside the surf world, which made him all the more respected by his peers. Several described him as an underground guy.

Witnesses say just before sundown tonight, Sion was charging 40 to 60 foot surf at Mavericks, when he was held under for two waves. His body found about 20 minutes later face down near the harbor entrance at Half Moon Bay.

Grant Washburn, a big wave surfing veteran, said, "I'm pretty sure he wiped out, board came away, he had no leash."

The news spread rapidly online with Sion's Facebook page filling up with condolences.

Glen Moncata, who's a friend of Milosky's expressed his pain, "It hurts every time you hear something like that. He's a close friends of ours."

Sion was from Kalaheo, Kauai, but moved to Oahu's North Shore, where he made a name for himself as one of elite crew at Pipeline. Last winter Sion surfed what's believed to be the biggest wave ever paddled into at Himalayas.

He was actually surfing Mavericks last November, the day his close friend and fellow Kaua'ian, Andy Irons died. Two of Hawaii's greatest surfers, gone within months.

Jodi Wilmott, a representative for Quicksilver who knew Milosky, added, "I think there's just a lot of heartbroken people in the North Shore family, you know, just a lot of just broken hearts for a family. I think people experienced this not too long ago with Andy Irons and you know while Sion was very much loved and admired, I think you just can't help but think about young families and parents and wives and children who have to find a new way to move forward."

Sion, was not only a great guy, but a friend of mine since our high school days on Kauai. My favorite story about Milosky happened just recently.

A couple months ago, a woman was swept out to sea in front of his house at Rocky Point well past sundown. As a fire crew arrived and began unpacking, Sion grabbed his longboard, and without saying a word paddled out in the pitch black in big surf. For 45 minutes he looked and yelled and then found the woman alive. He couldn't believe it. He pulled her onto his board and paddled her in saving her life. She never said thank you. The story never made the news. He never got an award. Sion had no need for recognition.

He was truly a good man. Our best wishes to his family and friends.

Click for information on how to donate to his memorial fund, established for his wife and kids:

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