Against all odds.
Great Britain is currently receiving a strong whipping at the vicious hand of Storm Ciara. 500,000 once jolly Englanders are currently without power, towns are flooded, cars washed away and the death toll is rising.
Unsurprisingly, as we energy harnessers, we storm riders, are wont, a surfer paddled out at a southern beach into massive swell and was soon “covered by walls of water.” Hours later his board washed up on the beach.
The worst is always feared in these cases, especially when the lifeboat sent to rescue is nearly swamped and sunk.
But, our hero was not to be so easily undone and let us turn to the respected pages of The Independent for the entire story.
A surfer who was declared missing in Hastings after his surfboard washed ashore amid the high winds and waves whipped up by Storm Ciara has been found alive after he managed to swim ashore at a beach more than five miles further east.
The man, whose name has not been released, was surfing at Rock-a-Nore in Hastings, which is directly in front of the lifeboat station and protected by the harbour arm.
However, the alarm was raised when his board was recovered but there was no sign of him in the water.
Two lifeboats and a helicopter were dispatched to try and find him, but had no success, amid waves reportedly over 3m (10 ft) high.
He eventually came ashore on the beach at Pett Level – a small settlement along a stretch of beach over five miles to the east of Hastings.
The route would have taken him along an uninhabited coastline largely composed of uncompromising cliffs, before he reached the western edge of Rye Bay.
“It’s a fair old distance to be without your board,” the press officer for Hastings Lifeboat Station Clive Mayhew told The Independent.
“The helicopter then landed there and he went to William Harvey hospital [in Ashford] for a checkover, and apparently he’s ok.”
Now, imagine swimming in the devil’s churn for five miles. Imagine watching the “uncompromising cliffs” sweep past, the Fire Swamp and Rodents of Unusual Size just beyond. How could hope be maintained?
This brave surfer is now my hero. A reminder to chin up in the face of wildly inappropriate odds. To perpetually sally forth.
Brave surfer? If you are reading, email straight away for your Cryin’ Jordy air-freshener.
Our gift to you.