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Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Updated: March 22, 6:20 PM ET
Prickett paralyzed in diving accident

By Jake Howard
ESPN Action Sports

One of the most esteemed cinematographer in surf, Mike Prickett is currently suffering from paralysis caused by severe decompression sickness.

On March 20 news broke that Mike Prickett, unequivocally one of surfing's most acclaimed cinematographers, was suffering from a severe case of decompression sickness and had been partially paralyzed after a diving accident in Tahiti.

Word first arrived via ESPN Surfing contributor Bernie Baker in Hawaii. "Mike Prickett is in a Tahiti hospital with bends from a dive where he had to share his air with another diver up to the surface," read a short email from Baker.

Shortly thereafter a more in-depth explanation was released by Jodi Wilmott, who handles the media for the Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii.

"I was doing an underwater shoot for wetsuits and dive gear," explained Prickett in the prepared statement. "I saw another diver sinking and panicking. I dove down to 220 feet to save him, but he used up all my air. I'm glad I was able to rescue him and he could walk away from the incident. I want to thank my family and friends for their prayers. I really need your prayers right now."

Wilmott went on to explain that the accident had occurred on Wednesday, Mar. 14 and that Prickett was suffering from paralysis from the chest down, but had just began to regain some sensation in his legs. She also went on to note that doctors are hopeful for his recovery.


Prickett's work has been featured in numerous Hollywood projects and countless surf films, including "Step Into Liquid," ESPN-produced "Down The Barrel,"and the Kelly Slater IMAX feature "Ultimate Wave Tahiti." His work has earned him numerous accolades, including Emmys and a Sundance award for Best Cinematography. He is a well liked and respected person in both the surf and film industry.

Fundraising efforts are currently underway to help offset his medical expenses, but exactly what those will be have yet to be determined. Updates to follow. For more on Prickett and his extensive body of work see