Cape Town - Durban-born Andre Botha has been hailed as a hero for saving the life of American pro surfer Evan Geiselman after a major fall at Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
According to the SA Good News website, Geiselman's accident took place on a 15-foot
wave, followed by a further three waves which held him down and knocked
Botha found Geiselman unconscious in the water and attempted rescue breathing while swimming to shore.
Botha was met in the shorebreak by lifeguards as well as pro surfers
Mick Fanning, Danny Fuller, Kalani Chapman and Brian Toth among others.
Geiselman regained consciousness after being given CPR on the shore.
He was later taken to hospital where he is expected to recover from this
The Banzai Pipeline, or simply "Pipeline" is a surf reef break
located off Ehukai Beach Park. Pipeline is notorious for big waves which
break in shallow water just above a sharp and cavernous reef, forming
large, hollow, thick curls of water that surfers can tube ride. There
are three reefs at Pipeline in progressively deeper water further out to
sea that activate according to the increasing size of approaching ocean
Botha is a South African bodyboarder. Born in Durban in 1980,
he left school at the age of 15 to become a professional bodyboarder and
won his first world title at the age of 17 and his second at 18,
winning both the World GOB Tour Series and the Pipeline World
Botha was also the first South African to ever win the Morey Banzai
Pipe Championships and the last champion of this 17-year-old event. He
is the first South African bodyboarder to win the GOB (Global
Organisation of Bodyboarding) world title, becoming just the second person ever to win
both the Pipe and GOB titles in one year. The following year he proved
this was no fluke by winning the first ever Mike Stewart Pipeline Pro.
Botha is known for his relaxed surfing style and his
ability to ride dangerous waves such as Waimea shorebreak and Keiki.