World Champion surfer Sunny Garcia was reportedly rushed to an ICU unit in a hospital following a reported suicide attempt.
A Brazilian news outlet had initially reported that the legendary Hawaiian surfer — who won the 2000 world championship and is the six-time Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion — had died.
This led to many tributes being paid from fans on social media. However, the report of his death was disputed by friends and the World Surf League later confirmed on Twitter that Garcia was in the ICU fighting for his life.
With heavy hearts we confirm that Sunny Garcia is in the ICU in the hospital. Sunny has always been a great champion of surfing, both in and out of the water. Our prayers are with him and his loved ones at this deeply challenging time. pic.twitter.com/re0F3l9toI
— World Surf League (@wsl) April 30, 2019
About a month ago, Sunny Garcia opened up about depression and mental illness on his official Instagram account. “Doesn’t matter what kind of mental illness you suffer from, we all suffer in silence and deal with it best we can and most people that don’t suffer can’t understand the pain and frustration that we go through.”
The Surfing legend also detailed his personal battle with depression.
“I have an incredible life surrounded by people that love and care for me, and I get to travel to beautiful places to surf and meet different people from all over the world but I can tell you when I get down that none of that matters.”
The details surrounding Garcia’s death have not been revealed, but he is said to be in a critical condition in a hospital in Oregon, according to Coastal Watch.
Sunny Garcia grew up in Wai’anae and made his professional debut at age 16. The 49-year-old surfer was most recently married to Colleen McMullough but has three children Kaila, Logan, and Stone with his first wife Angela.
The pro surfer has been open about his depression on social media, urging his fans to get help if they are suffering from mental illness.
If you or someone you know need help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.