Tamayo Perry, surfer in 'Blue Crush' and 'Hawaii Five-0,' dies after apparent shark attack

Tamayo Perry, a surfer, lifeguard and actor with a resume that included roles in “Blue Crush” and “Hawaii Five-0,” has died after an apparent shark attack off Oahu’s North Shore.

The 49-year-old was surfing at Mālaekahana Beach, also known as Goat Island, on the northeast coast of the island, and died Sunday afternoon in the attack, Shayne Enright of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department said in a statement to the Associated Press and local news stations.

Honolulu Ocean Safety and the city’s fire, police and emergency medical services departments responded to the beach just before 1 p.m. after a caller reported seeing a man who appeared to have suffered shark bites, Enright said. Lifeguards brought Perry to shore by jet ski and paramedics assisted with the death pronouncement.

After the incident, Ocean Safety personnel posted shark warnings in the area, Enright said.

According to news station KHON 2, Honolulu Ocean Safety acting chief Kurt Lager said that Perry, whom he described as “one of our own,” was a lifeguard and professional surfer “loved by all.” Perry worked as a lifeguard on the North Shore and began his career with the Ocean Safety department in July 2016.

One of the surfers grabbed Perry after the incident and brought him to the island, Lager said at a news conference.

“Tamayo Perry was a lifeguard loved by all. He was well-known on the North Shore. He’s a professional surfer known worldwide,” Lager said. “Tamayo’s personality was infectious and as much as people loved him, he loved everyone else more. Our condolences go out to Tamayo’s family and to the entire lifeguard ohana.”

Lager also said that Perry was “an extremely talented waterman” and that he is survived by his wife and “hundreds of friends.”

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, who also spoke at the press conference, said Perry’s death was a “tragic loss” and commemorated the lifeguard as “a legendary waterman and highly respected … great member of our Ocean Safety team.”

“As we grieve this unimaginable loss, we are reminded of the inherent risks faced by our lifeguards daily, and we extend our deepest gratitude for their service,” the mayor added in a statement to Hawaii News Now. “The City and County of Honolulu stands with our Ocean Safety community and will provide all necessary support during this period of mourning. We ask the community to join us in honoring his memory and to keep his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

Perry and his wife Emilia Perry, professional athletes from the Hawaiian Islands, co-founded the Oahu Surfing Experience, which offers surf lessons on the North Shore.

“The Ocean Aspect of Mother Nature is very unpredictable and it is important to have expert instructors to guide you,” the couple’s website says.

The company did not immediately respond Monday to The Times’ request for comment.

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