11/15/2013 12:07 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2014

Kirk Passmore Missing: Surfer Vanishes After Wiping Out On 20-Foot Wave

Authorities in Hawaii are searching for a missing surfer who likely passed away after wiping out on a 20-foot wave.

Kirk Passmore, 32, was surfing off Oahu's North Shore when he fell off his board and collided with another wave, CNN reports.

Jamie Sterling, a professional surfer, was at the beach on the day Passmore disappeared. He gave this account to Surfing magazine:

Kirk paddled down with some of the gang from Waimea ... he made the drop but had too much forward momentum at the bottom and just went over the handlebars. And then -- I mean, we’re just making assumptions at this point -- when he surfaced it looked like he had broken his eardrum or maybe his neck because his feet popped up and he was facing down. He may have had vertigo, or lost his equilibrium. But I don’t think his head broke the surface, and at that point the next wave passed over him and his board broke.

Passmore's family released a statement that reads like an obituary. It is titled "Kirk Passmore, February 11, 1981 to November 12, 2013."

"He started coming to Hawaii when he was 14 and was an experienced and expert surfer," the family said. "He was not new to big wave surfing, having surfed most of the well-known big wave locations, including Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, Pipeline and outer reefs on the north shores of Hawaii."

On Thursday, friends and family held a prayer vigil in Passmore's honor, HawaiiNewsNow reports.



Missing People