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Lifeguard and 'Pirates of the Caribbean' actor dies after apparent shark attack in Hawaii

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A lifeguard and surf instructor – who also appeared in movies including “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Blue Crush” - died Sunday following an apparent shark attack on the North Shore of Ohau, Hawaii, according to officials.

Tamayo Perry, 49, was an “eight-year veteran of Honolulu Ocean Safety and well-known North Shore waterman,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said in a statement.

Perry “exemplified bravery, commitment and a deep sense of duty, serving our community with unwavering dedication. His heroic actions and tireless efforts to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors will never be forgotten,” Blangiardi added.

Just before 1 p.m. Sunday, Honolulu Ocean Safety and other emergency responders arrived at a beach after a call came in about a surfer who’d been fatally injured in a shark attack, Honolulu Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Shayne Enright said.

Honolulu Ocean Safety responded by Jet Ski and brought Perry to shore, where first responders pronounced him dead.

Perry was a lifeguard who was loved by all, a professional surfer known worldwide, and had an “infectious” personality, Honolulu Ocean Safety acting Chief Kurt Lager said.

“As much as people loved him, he loved everyone else more,” Lager said.

Perry made several TV and movie appearances, according to his IMBD page.

Perry’s bio on the Oahu Surfing Experience website lists the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, “Charlie’s Angels 2,” “Blue Crush,” and hit TV shows “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-0,” among his credits.

Perry also appeared in national and international ad campaigns, he wrote.

“When I’m not acting, I’m still quite a character, so there’s always a ton of fun to be had,” he said.

Perry’s wife, Emilia Perry, was born and raised in Western Australia and competed as a professional bodyboarder before moving to Hawaii, where she met her husband and started surfing competitively, according to her bio on the surfing website.

“When I was 18 years old, I came to Hawaii for a competition and met Tamayo while bodyboarding out at Pipeline. A few years later, I picked up a surfboard, we got married and there was no turning back,” she wrote, adding, “The vast amounts of ocean knowledge that Tamayo has ingrained in me over the years is priceless.”

The University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File lists 120 shark bite incidents in 2023. Of the 36 shark bites that occurred in the U.S., eight were in Hawaii, one of which was fatal.

According to the shark attack file’s 2023 report, surfers experienced 42 per cent of bites worldwide. Though the number of bites and fatalities increased last year, compared to the previous year, the report authors say the numbers are still in line with recent trends.

The Honolulu community will provide the necessary support following Perry’s death, the mayor said.

“As we grieve this unimaginable loss, we are reminded of the inherent risks faced by our lifeguards daily, and we extend our deepest gratitude for their service,” Blangiardi said.

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