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Off Track: “Eddie Would Go”

December 21, 2019

From the Hawaiian Airlines website

Off the Inverse website

One may still notice the iconic phrase on a bumper sticker or T-shirt decades after big-wave surfer, voyager and lifeguard Eddie Aikau made a lasting impact as a legendary waterman. While the saying has become recognized in local vernacular amongst kama‘āina (locals), visitors who seek out Hawai‘i to enjoy its unique land and seascapes coupled with a unique culture represented by the “Aloha Spirit” throughout the Islands quickly learn that Aikau embodied that quintessential approach to life.

In an ironic twist, it was Aikau’s selflessness in attempting to paddle to Lāna‘i via surfboard to get help for fellow crewmembers who had capsized while aboard traditional Polynesian Voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa (Guiding Star) that ultimately led to his demise in March of 1978. The ensuing search for Aikau was the largest air-sea rescue venture in Hawai‘i history, but he was never seen again.

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