Milton and Michael Willis, Giant Wave Surfers and Ocean Safety Experts, Advocate Think Waves
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SAN DIEGO, April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Think You Know how to escape rip currents? If you answered Swim Parallel to the beach, you might want to think again.
Dr. Jaime MacMahan of the Monterey Institute of Oceanography, after a lengthy study, concluded swimming parallel to escape rip currents is more dangerous than doing nothing.
Enter Milton and Michael Willis, identical twin brothers, World Champion Giant Wave Surfers and Ocean Safety Experts, who advise using waves to escape rip currents.
Milton explains, "Experienced surfers have always used the natural occurring rip currents to get out to the surf and the waves to get back to shore."
Milton and Michael began surfing in Solana Beach, California, soon after the pair set out to Hawaii's North Shore in pursuit of the biggest waves.
While preparing to enter the ocean on a particularly big day (pre-leashes and inflatable vests), Milton was approached by Hawaiian big wave surfer Eddie Aikau.
Aikau informed Willis, "If you lose your surfboard, stay in the waves; they will bring you back to shore." Milton and Michael heeded the wise council, and in 25 plus years surfing big waves, were never caught in a rip current nor ever had to be rescued themselves.
Both brothers were involved with 100's of successful rescues. Milton was awarded the Certificate of Life Saving Merit from the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Michael is credited with rescuing legendary surfer Titus Kinimaka at Waimea Bay, considered the most dramatic rescue in surfing history.
In 1998 the Willis brothers rode what many believe are the largest waves surfed during Hawaii's first-ever "Condition Black," lawfully closing beaches due to unprecedented high surf.
No swell has exceeded 1998 Condition Black to this date.
Circa 2000, the brothers realized the vast majority of beachgoers, lifeguards and surfers were unaware of using waves to escape rip currents, so they began teaching surfing and ocean safety.
Today N. O. A. A. and U. S. L. A. have adapted the Surfers Way using waves to escape rip currents in pictograph format.
Though the average public remains unaware of using waves to avoid or escape rip currents, Milton and Michael continue working to prevent drowning by making sure they become aware. As the Willis brothers say when it comes to rip currents, "Think Waves, Reach the Beach!"
SOURCE Think Waves
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