Waves threaten pro surfer's Sunset Beach home
SUNSET BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A professional surfer's Sunset Beach home is now threatened by the very waves he learned to surf on.
(Ramsay Wharton is live on the North Shore this morning with more on this story. To watch on a computer, click here. To watch on a cell phone or mobile device, click here.)
And the man's father says that ten other homes in the neighborhood remain threatened by the surf and that the state is doing nothing to protect them.
"We've asked for help and no help came ... We were telling them that if we don't get something soon we're in dire straits," said Fred Patacchia Sr., whose son Fred Patacchia Jr. owns the home at 59-155 Ke Nui Rd.
"At 10:30, the pool fell. It collapsed ... We lost our entire beachfront."
Five-foot swells did most of the damage, washing away a big chunk of the home's backyard while washing away the ground underneath a stairway that gave way.
It also uprooted a coconut tree that was tied to the stairway and sent half of the home's swimming pool crashing into the ocean.
"It took a chunk out 100 feet wide by 50-feet deep. That's close to 5,000 square feet," he said.
"The back of the pool broke, it snapped in half. Right now, the back half is still standing."
The elder Patacchia said he and his neighbors last month put in for an emergency request with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to build a sand barrier on the beach to protect their homes. But he said the request fell on deaf ears.
He said neighbors are now consulting with a local attorney and plan to hire an engineering firm to see what they can do.
"We need some help. All of our neighbors are asking for the people of Honolulu to support us in finding a way to protect our properties," Patacchia Sr. said.
A DLNR spokeswoman said the matter was a private land issue and that the state had no plans to intervene.
Homeowner Fred Patacchia Jr., who is in Portugal for a surfing competition, purchased the 12,000-foot property for around $700,000 in 2000 and later built a five-bedroom home on the land.
His father said the home, now valued at over $2 million, was something his 31-year-old son could look fall back on when he left the professional tour.
"This was my son's winnings money he made surfing. This was his dream so that when he's pau with surfing, he's got something," he said.
"He wants to raise (his daughter) on this beach ... he wants to teach her how to surf here."
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