The Legend Of Eddie Aikau

2060 Words 9 Pages
“Eddie Would Go.” These three words continue to capture the story of Eddie Aikau. For those living in Hawaii or apart of the surfing community, this saying speaks to a man who exuded bravery, courage, selflessness and sacrifice. It is a call to action, to push yourself out of your comfort zone and to do the right thing no matter what. Most importantly, these three words are a way of honoring the late and great Eddie Aikau.
To understand the legend of Eddie Aikau, one must first understand the Hawaii that Eddie was born into. Born on May 4th, 1946 as Edward Ryon Makuahani Aikau in Kahului, Maui, he was the middle child of the six Aikau kids. The Aikaus were prominent among the Native Hawaiian community. They were a direct descendent
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Despite the startlingly high number of drown victims each year, it was viewed as a futile effort to rescue the victims due to the overwhelming currents and massive waves. Waimea Bay needed a lifeguard but no one was willing to accept that job. To do so was certain death. Nobody except Eddie. It was Eddie’s destiny. Two hundred years ago, King Kamehameha entrusted Waimea Bay, Waimea Beach, and Waimea Valley to Eddie’s great great grandfather Hewahewa. The land was lost to foreign westerners, but in many ways it had come full circle. In 1967, Eddie Aikau became the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay. During the ten years that he served as a lifeguard there, he braved the deadly waters and attempted over five hundred rescues without losing a single life. An unremarkable feat for any lifeguard, let alone one at Waimea Bay. Eddie’s surfing prowess and fearlessness had garnered him a reputation among the surfing community, but what he would do next would captivate the …show more content…
To him, it was a true calling of a Hawaiian. Hōkūle’a was a result of a debate that had arisen among those in the scientific community who questioning how the Hawaiians actually arrived in Hawaii. The Hawaiians claimed that their ancestors came from Eastern Asia, sailing across the pacific ocean, inhabiting the islands they discovered, and slowly making there way until they found the Hawaiian islands. Scientists claimed that this was not possible, stating that the Polynesians were not great sailors and rather found Hawaii by accident. The scientists believed that the Hawaiians actually came from South America, mainly Peru or Chile, rather than from Polynesia. The Hawaiians felt that that myth needed to be shattered. To debunk this claim, the Hawaiian voyaging society ordered Hōkūle’a, a replica of an ancient Polynesian ship, to be built. Only 61 feet long and made of natural material, the objective for Hōkūle’a was to sail from Hawaii to Tahiti and back, a voyage of over five thousand miles, navigating solely by the stars, winds, and waves. Eddie was one of the eleven chosen to attempt this

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