Hawaii Pipeline surfer stable after near drowning as dangerously high surf continues for Pacific coast

A High Surf Advisory is in effect through Wednesday evening for the north-facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Maui. High Surf Advisories are also in place for coastal Northern California and Oregon. Waves up to 25 and 30 feet are possible on the Pacific coast.

HALEIWA, Hawaii – A professional Brazilian surfer was hospitalized on Sunday in Hawaii after a wipeout on Ohau's North Shore while practicing for an upcoming Pipeline surfing competition. 

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported a 23-year-old surfer was found unresponsive at Pipeline on Sunday. Honolulu Ocean Safety personnel treated the surfer at the North Shore beach before he was taken to a local hospital in serious condition, according to the newspaper. 

Photos shared on Getty Images show Brazilian surfer João Chianca being carried to shore by ocean safety on Sunday at Banzai Pipeline. Chianca was practicing for the upcoming Vans 2023 Pipe Masters event when he wiped out.

Surfline reported Chianca was knocked unconscious after dropping off the wave and held underwater for several waves. He remains in stable condition, receiving care in Hawaii. Sources told Surfline Chianca should be leaving the hospital on Wednesday. 


Chianca is considered the fourth-ranked surfer in the world and qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics. 

A High Surf Warning is in effect through Wednesday for the north-facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Maui.

Waves on the North Shore are forecast to be up to 16 feet, according to the National Weather Service office in Honolulu.

The northwest swell fueling the monster waves peaked on Tuesday in Hawaii but continues to bring dangerous surf to the U.S. Pacific coast, including northwestern California and Oregon beaches. 

High Surf Advisories are in place from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties in California to central coastal Oregon. 

The NWS offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Eureka, California, are warning of sneaker waves and dangerous rip currents through Wednesday. 

A High Surf Advisory is also in effect for the south-central Oregon coast, including the beaches of Coos, Curry and Douglas counties, through Wednesday morning.

The NWS in Medford, Oregon, warns large, breaking waves up to 30 feet could inundate beaches and low-lying shorelines.

Sneaker waves can be large, unexpected waves that sweep beaches, pulling people and large objects into the sea. 

The Vans 2023 Pipe Masters event is set to take place this Friday on Ohau's North Shore. Surfline reported 60 surfers were invited to be part of the competition this year.