Surfer Missing After Wipeout Search is on for big-wave hunter in Hawaii By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Nov 15, 2013 1:03 PM CST 10 comments Comments File photo of big-wave surfers off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia) (Newser) – A search is underway for an experienced big-wave surfer who went down off the coast of Hawaii Wednesday, reports HawaiiNewsNow. Fellow surfers say 32-year-old Kirk Passmore wiped out on a 20-foot wave, then got swamped by a second big wave. "He was seen swimming down with his feet up above the surface and we think he broke his ear drum, because what happens when you break your ear drum is you have complete loss of balance and you have vertigo," says surfer Jamie Sterling. Passmore's damaged surfboard turned up further down the Oahu beach, reports CNN. One potentially fatal mistake: Passmore wasn't wearing a flotation vest, unlike everybody else out that day.