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Feb 13, 2020

A Tale of Two Dramatic Big-Wave Rescues

For more than 50 years, the surf world has gathered on the North Shore. (Photo: Brad Masters)
For more than 50 years, the surf world has gathered on the North Shore.

Every winter, the Pacific Ocean produces massive swells that roll across the open sea and crash into the Hawaiian island of Oahu. For more than 50 years, the surf world has gathered here, on the North Shore, along a stretch of legendary beaches that are collectively known as the Seven Mile Miracle. A lot of drama is to be expected: epic rides, agonizing wipeouts, and every so often, a heroic rescue. In this episode, we share two stories from the latter category. One comes from photographer-filmmaker Jeff Johnson, who, back in the day, was a young lifeguard at Sunset Beach, determined to prove himself. The other is from big-wave rider Kohl Christensen, a North Shore local whose work to safeguard the lives of other surfers recently ended up saving his own.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.