Big Wave Charger Sion Milosky Drowns Surfing Mavericks
By Col Bernasconi | 17 March 2011
Sion Milosky surfing massive Phantoms (L), and being interviewed by Tracksmag.com in Hawaii, December 2010 (R), RIP
Updated Friday March 18: 35-year-old father of two, Sion Milosky, has died surfing feared cold-water big wave spot Mavericks in Northern California. A late-season northwest swell was running around the 18 to 20 foot plus range. Some bombs said to be up around 25-foot. Sion had been in the water all day and reportedly riding some of the best waves that came through. Late into the afternoon Sion was looking for one last set. When his wave finally arrived he took of deep and late and was subsequently pounded and unable to ride out of it. It appears he was held under for two waves and drowned around 6:30 p.m.
He was found in the water 20 minutes later, and beyond the point of CPR. MerceryNews.com confirmed that he "drowned after enduring a two-wave hold down around 6:30 p.m., according to Maverick's surfer Ken Collins, with whom Milosky was staying in Santa Cruz."
"Collins said Nathan Fletcher, who had traveled to Santa Cruz with Milosky, went looking for Milosky on a Jet Ski shortly after he fell," the story goes on to say. "Collins said Fletcher found Milosky's body at the Half Moon Bay Harbor mouth, about a mile from the break, 20 minutes after the incident."
The much respected and liked Hawaiian goofy footer originally from Kauai had had the best winter of his life – netting no less than four front page surfing publication covers around the world (including Tracks March issue). In a recent interview with Tracksmag.com Sion spoke candidly about working towards securing enough sponsorship dollars to surf full-time. His day job as a gate welder and builder was a handy trade that allowed him to work in between swells and still support his family. His passion for both surfing and providing for his family unquestionable. Tracksmag.com spoke with Australian photographer Andrew Christie in Hawaii after the accident and he to confirmed the news via Hawaiian friends in touch with Nathan. Nathan pulled Sion from the water – a troubling task that no friend ever would want to go through. Andrew has informed us that the Hawaiian brotherhood is obviously shattered with the loss of yet another one of their own. It’s been just five months since three time world champion Andy Irons died in a Texas Hotel room.
The only other surfer to die at Maverick's was Mark Foo, also of Hawaii, in 1994.
Sion's March Tracks cover shot from Pipeline, clean and without the masthead. Pic: Nate Smith
Sion’s quest to push the boundaries was no secret after he rode a wave at outside Phantoms on Oahu’s North Shore that many consider to be the biggest ever. Sion’s last post on his Facebook site all about the impending Californian session, "Up at 4am going to Mavs, Dam it’s early.”
Surfer's like Sion were on red alert as the swell he was surfing was predicted to be the last chance for that giant wave entry into the lucrative Billabong XXL big wave competition, as reported on their site just days ago. "For the first time in the event’s 11-year history, a last-minute swell threatens to shake up the potential nominee list for the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards during the final week of the event period. The swell is expected to hit Hawaii first, and then Maverick’s and other West Coast breaks this week..."
The sad reality of what these surfers risk in their hunt for the biggest waves on the planet.
RIP Sion, and condolences to your wife and two little girls, it was a pleasure meeting you, mate.
Note: Sion supported his wife and two little girls with his gate building business and surfing – they were his life. Any parent would understand the loss a parent will have on kids...
There has been a fund set up and any donation large or small will go a long way in helping the Milosky's rebuild their lives.
Please donate HERE