Actor and Pro Surfer Tamayo Perry Killed in Hawaii Shark Attack

Professional surfer and lifeguard Tamayo Perry, who was also an actor and stuntman, tragically died on Sunday after a shark attack off Oahu's coast. 

Perry, 49, was surfing at Malaekahana Beach on the North Shore when the attack occurred in the early afternoon.

Rescuers brought Perry to shore using a Jet Ski, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright.

Enright asked for kindness and patience as the community deals with the loss.

Kurt Lager, acting chief of the ocean safety department, praised Perry as a world-class surfer and a beloved lifeguard, noting his infectious personality and deep love for others.

Perry leaves behind his wife of over 20 years, Emilia Perry, with whom he ran a surf academy. Following the news, tributes to Perry poured in on social media, celebrating his life and contributions.

In addition to his surfing and lifeguarding, Perry made a name in Hollywood, appearing in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise and "Hawaii Five-O." Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi described Perry as a "legendary waterman" who grew up on the island.

Although shark attacks are statistically rare, there was an increase in incidents and fatalities in 2023, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File (ISAF). The ISAF reported 69 unprovoked bites worldwide last year, with 10 resulting in death.

The National Ocean Service notes that only about a dozen of over 300 shark species have been involved in human attacks, usually due to confusion or curiosity. Researchers suggest that climate change might be a factor in the rising number of shark attacks.

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