Former firefighter dedicates himself to inspiring cause after spinal injury

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Beach Safety Week in Hawaii continues until Saturday, Aug. 28, and a former firefighter shared his story about the importance of being safe while in the ocean.

Yurik Resetnikov said as a firefighter, he pulled dozens of people from the ocean after they suffered spinal injuries.

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Resetnikov said he was at Sandy Beach one day in 2015 when he suffered a spinal injury while body surfing. He got slammed to the ocean floor on his last wave and said he immediately knew what was wrong.

“I knew immediately the predicament I was in. I’ve gone to a dozen calls of people in my position, just people I’ve pulled out of the water and put them on backboards and people had been paralyzed. And when it happened to me, I knew exactly what I did. And I believe this was my story, it was supposed to happen. I don’t feel bad, I feel worse about losing my job than losing my legs.”

Yurik Resetnikov, former firefighter and Surf for Special Needs ambassador

Resetnikov is now a paraplegic and an ambassador for the “Surf For Special Needs” organization; The nonprofit provides therapeutic ocean experiences for those with disabilities.

He also works with “Able-Bodied,” which provides experiences to those with spinal or other injuries

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