Kelly Slater saves Perth mother and baby from monster wave

Amelia Broun

A Perth mother and her young son have been rescued by surfing great Kelly Slater after they were knocked over by a freak wave in Hawaii.

Sarah White was walking along a footpath with her pram, when they were hit by a wall of water.

Waves at the beach where Sarah White was walking were typical of the big waves Hawaii is famous for. Photo: @chris.whitey
Waves at the beach where Sarah White was walking were typical of the big waves Hawaii is famous for. Photo: @chris.whitey

North Beach mum Sarah White has experienced Hawaii’s famous big waves first hand.

She was walking along a footpath close to a beach known as Rock Piles, when she was knocked over by a freak wave along with her 22-month-old son Van.

“The wave, it was like a tsunami. It was just this big flood of water,” she said.

Van enjoying the water with his family. Photo: @chris.whitey
Van enjoying the water with his family. Photo: @chris.whitey

“The only thing I was thinking of was, I don't want my son to drown, I don't want my son to drown. I just wanted to keep him up, so I just held onto that pram as long as I could.

“There was a point where I got bumped and I let go and that's when I thought that's it.”

It was at that moment, that 11-time world surf champion Kelly Slater came to the rescue.

Thanks to Kelly Slater, Sarah's injuries from the freak wave were not too serious. Photo: @chris.whitey
Thanks to Kelly Slater, Sarah's injuries from the freak wave were not too serious. Photo: @chris.whitey

He grabbed the pram, pulled it upright - and helped Sarah who was underwater.

Sarah’s husband, Chris White, said: “When the wave hit he said it was like 10 foot of whitewash in the air and he said there was 10 to 20 seconds where no one could see where either of them were and people were yelling out, ‘oh my god there's a baby’”.

Kelly Slater then drove Sarah and Van home and came back again on Friday for a visit to check they were ok.

Kelly Slater with 22-month-old Van, who he saved from a freak wave at a beach in Hawaii. Photo: @chris.whitey
Kelly Slater with 22-month-old Van, who he saved from a freak wave at a beach in Hawaii. Photo: @chris.whitey

“He's amazing! He's just like any other guy, he's just there to help,” Sarah said.

And her husband certainly agreed: “It just shows how much of a legend he is!”