18 June, 2012 18 June, 2012

Why We Never Surf Alone – Surfer rescued on KZN South Coast


One of the unwritten rules of surfing is that you should NEVER surf alone. As much as we’d all love to stumble upon a firing lineup and have it all to ourselves, the obvious risk of something going wrong with nobody to assist, is something that you’d have to consider before paddling out. Things can go from blissful to life-threatening in a blink of an eye, and it is why a good surfing buddy is more precious than wax, a wetsuit or a board.

South Coast local Mark Van Achterbergh had an unfortunate accident during a fun surf at one of the local pointbreaks and if it were not for the speedy assistance of some of the other surfers in the lineup, things could have turned out far worse. A clear reminder why you should never surf alone.

Shot Bru contributor Sean Meets captured the above image of a group of surfers helping a semi-conscious Mark out of the water after taking a beating by a sneaky set.

Sean’s account of the incident is below:

“This was in Scottburgh this morning (June 12) where the surfer floating on his back found himself in trouble with the enormous swells. When he was originally spotted by I think JJ, he was face down in the surf. Fortunately JJ alerted other surfers who all came to the rescue.”

“The surfer, who’s name I think is Mark Van Achterbergh, was helped ashore amid surboards that were washing up all over the beach. He was hunched over and bringing up copious amounts of water and blood. He was taken to hospital, where the last I heard he was ok. I’ll get more detail on all parties involved, but if it wasn’t for the quick response of JJ and the other surfers, he surely would not have made it.”

“Some of the brave surfers were JJ, Brendan Fijack, Mikey Venter, Dayne, “Dingo”, Dylan, and Frankie Oberholzer.” – Sean Meets / shotbru.co.za

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