Roy Ito Jr. was a quiet but friendly regular at the Oahu surf spot where a freak accident led to his death, Hawaii News Now reports.
On Wednesday, a relatively small day of surf, Ito fell off of his standup paddle board. As any other surfer would do during a routine wipeout, Ito got back up and began to paddle away. Moments later, his body went limp and he was surrounded by his own blood.
Surfers in the lineup rushed to the 52-year-old paddle boarder and carried him back to shore. He was quickly taken to Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, where he later died.
"He just wiped out," nearby surfer Zach Cui told Hawaii News Now. "He got on his board, did a couple of paddles and that was it. He just went limp."
The accident occurred near Kewalo Basin on Oahu's south shore, at a surf spot known as "Straight Out." According to local surfers, Ito was a familiar face in the lineup, often paddling out on his standup paddle board.
Local surfer Troy Okubo told Hawaii News Now that ten to fifteen surfers that were in the lineup came together to bring him to shore.
"Everyone was trying to help out," said Okubo.
The Honolulu Medical Examiner's office has not yet issued an official cause of death, but surfers who witnessed the accident speculate that the fin on his board may have severed an artery on his upper thigh.
"We think his skeg hit him because he was all bloody instantly," Okubo recalled.
This accident happened just two days after the body of 45-year-old surfer was found still attached to a surfboard in Haleiwa, on Oahu's north shore.