2010 Maverick's Surf Contest. Courtesy of Jacobovs at Wikimedia.
North Shore big-wave surfer Sion Milosky died Wednesday afternoon at the popular California surf break Maverick's, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. He was 35 years old. His death marks one of two at Maverick's. In 1994, famed big-wave rider and industry pioneer Mark Foo drowned while surfing.
"He went down the face of the wave. He made a bottom turn and he totally made the wave, but the water caught up to him and it just kind of engulfed him and raced him down," a surfer—who asked not to be named because he was supposed to have been at work Wednesday—told the San Francisco Chronicle. "The last image I have of him was of him standing on his board as the whitewater was kind of engulfing him," he said.
Milosky, of Kalaheo, Hawaii, was one of many surfers eyeing the arrival of late-season north swells to the California Coast. Ken Collins, who was surfing with Milosky when the accident happened, said Milosky had ridden half a dozen waves that day, and that on his last, the wave's lip collapsed and the wave crashed on top of him. Another wave overtook him, and Milosky was lost in the foamy surf.
Milosky's body turned up at the mouth of Pillar Point Harbor, about a mile away from where was surfing and 20 minutes after he drowned, Collins said. He was taken to Seton Coastside Hospital in Moss Beach.
Milosky was named 2010 North Shore Underground Surfer of the Year last month. He reportedly used some of the $25,000 prize money to make the trip to Santa Cruz for the late-season swells.
Check out a video of Milosky below.