Well-known local surfer David “Big Wave Dave" Hargrave died Monday after apparently suffering a medical issue while out on the waves, according to posts from his friends and his daughter.
Fellow surfers went to his aid in the water off the North Jetty after he was seen floating face down and the U.S. Coast Guard and emergency ground personnel also responded.
One of those who jumped on their boards was Jim Merryfield, who said immediately called 911 after he arrived at the jetty and saw the situation, then went into the water.
Jim Merryfield, one of four regular surfers at the North Jetty who rendered aid to Hargrave, hugs a friend on the dunes shortly after returning to shore. All four of the surfers described Hargrave as a great guy and experienced surfer.
“I’m glad I helped,” Merryfield told photographer Mark McKenna at the scene. “It took all three of us.”
After attempting CPR for some time, Merryfield said, “The Coast Guard pulled up next to us and pulled him in the boat.”
He described Hargrave and those who swam to his rescue as “experienced surfers” with “decades in the water.”
A GoFundMe account
has been set to raise money for his memorial.
Message from the GoFundMe page:
Dave Hargrave, a local surf legend and beloved fixture in the surf community in Humboldt County tragically died surfing the north jetty on the 16th of September 2019. He will be missed by so many. His surviving daughter has requested assistance for a memorial and cremation expenses.