Austin Gibbons, a surfer from Long Beach, was injured while...

Austin Gibbons, a surfer from Long Beach, was injured while surfing at Pipeline in Hawaii. Credit: Family photo

A surfer from Long Beach is in stable but critical condition, after he was injured while surfing at a Hawaii beach.

Austin Gibbons, 25, had gone surfing with friends at Pipeline, a surf reef break located off Ehukai Beach Park, on Monday, when he was found unconscious on his board in the water around 7:30 p.m., said his mother, Christine Gibbons, of Long Beach.

Lifeguards had finished their shift and were in the parking lot of the beach and “by the grace of God they were still there,” when they were alerted to Gibbons’ condition, she said.

A statement from Honolulu Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services said “a 25-year old surfer” was found unresponsive by surfers at Pipeline.

The lifeguard tower at Ehukai Beach closed at 6:30 p.m. “but lifeguards were still in the parking lot, and were alerted by beachgoers they were needed. Surfers helped bring the man close to shore, and with lifeguards brought him up onto the sand,” the statement said.

“Lifeguards started cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and after several cycles of CPR, the surfer regained a pulse … . Honolulu EMS took over with advanced lifesaving treatment and transported the man in critical condition to an area emergency room,” the statement said.

Christine Gibbons said she flew in Tuesday to be with her son. She would not disclose his injuries for privacy reasons, but confirmed he is “getting better” each day.

The surfer had moved to Hawaii about a month ago from New York to pursue his dream of becoming an Oahu lifeguard, and had performed “very well” on the lifeguard test on Jan. 20, his mother said.

The place where Gibbons was surfing, known as the Banzai Pipeline, is known for its spectacular waves.

“He was on a surfboard since 2-years-old,” Christine Gibbons said. “Since he could walk.”

Before his move, Gibbons had been heavily involved in the surfing community in Long Beach, and previously won the King of the Beach title. He worked at Skudin Surf Camp and worked with special needs children, his mother said, and worked at unsOund Surf, a surf shop in Long Beach.

Since the accident, Gibbons’ family has been “overwhelmed” by messages of support from community members, and she asked for continued prayers.

“I really believe he’s strong enough in mind and body to fight and we can get through this,” she said.

Latest videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months