Water Sport

Surf legend Garcia in hospital after suicide attempt

2019-05-01 09:15
Sunny Garcia (Getty Images)
Sunny Garcia (Getty Images)

Los Angeles - Surfing legend Sunny Garcia was being treated in intensive care at a Portland hospital on Tuesday after a reported suicide attempt.

The 49-year-old surfing icon's hospitalisation was confirmed in a statement from the World Surf League.

"With heavy hearts we confirm that Sunny Garcia is in the ICU in the hospital," the WSL wrote on Twitter.

"Sunny has always been a great champion of surfing, both in and out of the water. Our prayers are with him and his loved ones at this deeply challenging time."

Garcia, a six-time winner of surfing's Triple Crown, was admitted to hospital on Monday. The TMZ.com website said Garcia, who has struggled with depression for several years, had attempted suicide.

News of Garcia's hospitalisation prompted a wave of messages across social media.

American surfing star Kelly Slater posted a photo of himself smiling alongside Garcia on Instagram.

"I love you, brother," Slater wrote.

"I just can’t even fathom you not here. We’ve got so much more living to do before we are done.

"There’s been hard times but there have been so many good ones, too. Just praying you wake up and we get more of you."

The Hawaii-born and raised Garcia's professional career has spanned four decades from the mid-1980s when he began competing soon after leaving school in 1986.

He was the WSL's World Champion in 2000 and he was only the second professional surfer to amass more than $1 million in prize money.

However his life out of the water has encountered turbulence. He served a three-month prison sentence in 2007 for tax evasion, and has also spoken about depression.

"Depression is no joke waking up feeling like your ready to take on the world then a couple hours later feeling down on life and wondering what's wrong with you," Garcia wrote in a 2014 Instagram post.

"I'm not sure what's wrong with me because I have no reason to feel the way I do and it's been happening for about two years and would love to hear from any of you who suffer these feelings so I can figure out what I should do."

Read more on:    water sport  |  surfing


Read News24’s Comments Policy


Which is your favourite water-related sport?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.