Kalani Chapman Nearly Drowns At Pipeline


Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days of the winter at Pipeline. 6- to-8 feet, light winds, bluebird conditions. From dawn to dusk perfect Pipe bombs rolled through the lineup and the second day of the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout absolutely went off. In the late afternoon, during the last heat of the day, Kalani Chapman glided into a double up from second reef and pulled in. But after falling in the tube, he never surfaced.

“It was really similar to Evan’s [Geiselman] accident last year,” said Balaram Stack, who was watching from the beach when it happened. “He went down and we all looked away not thinking anything of it until someone started yelling his name and everyone went running.”

Nathan Florence, Seth Moniz and the quick-acting water patrol watched what happened from the water and scrambled over to him almost immediately. They pulled him up by his leash, got him to the beach, and once there the lifeguards were able to revive him. Judging from the gash to the back of his head and the damage to the nose of his surfboard, it’s likely his board knocked him unconscious. Luckily, his leash didn’t snap. It’s the reason Nathan and Seth were able to find him underwater.

“I’m so thankful Nate and Seth were able to get him on the ski and back to the beach in time to bring him back to life,” Balaram continues. “It really shows how strong and together the surf community is.”

Once again we’re all reminded just how dangerous Pipeline is. Thanks to Nathan, Seth, the water patrol and the North Shore lifeguards for being so prepared to handle another very scary situation.

All of our best to Kalani for a full and speedy recovery!

Clips by Brent Bielmann