Hawaii Waterman
Hall of Fame

Rell Sunn

Rell Sunn

Year of Induction:
Ocean Safety
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Revered as the “Queen of Mākaha,” Rell Sunn was a champion surfer with a legacy of pioneering triumphs for women in ocean sports. Her middle name, Kapolioka'ehuka, meaning "the heart of the sea" fit her perfectly as she was never far from it. Acting as Hawaii's first female lifeguard, Rell patrolled the beaches with bravery and courage. After being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, Rell continued to spend every day in the water and live life to its fullest. After 15 years of battling the relentless disease, Rell passed away in 1998 at the age of 47.

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