Tragedy struck, and continues to slowly unspool, off the popular Dutch beach resort of Scheveningen as five surfers have been killed, more are still missing and several others required rescuing during the last 24-hours.
Rescue teams in the Netherlands on Tuesday recovered the bodies of three surfers. Two other people rescued from the sea the day before died shortly after being pulled from the water.
Surfers familiar with the conditions at Scheveningen told the Dutch public broadcasting organization NOS that strong winds and adverse currents might have made things difficult for the surfers, some of whom were reportedly very experienced. They said the large amount of foam on the waves may also have played a role.
The search for the missing surfers was called off as darkness fell but resumed this morning with rescue helicopters flying close to the water in order to blast away the foam.
And in all my years of reading, writing about surfing I have never seen anything like this. It is difficult to fathom the scope of destruction and conditions that could have claimed so many lives.
Surf forecast site MagicSeaweed describes Schevenigen as, “Most well know spot in Holland, a stretch of small jettys flanked by a huge harbour wall that gives SW wind protection and a paddling out channel. Often lacks in power and closes out, therefore a lot of longboarders. Picks up all swell directions and breaks through the tide but best on a NW at high.”
One man screams, another enjoys ride. @grahamblade
Aftermath: Man who filmed surfers’ hair-raising escape from “member of Great White family” near Bells Beach talks of bitten man’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: “He kept messaging me that night, saying he couldn’t sleep, saying he was stressing out!”
And watch the full HD movie! Hear the blood-curdling screams!
It’s not every day a man gets nicked by a member of the Great White family, in this case the broadnose sevengill, a shark hunted by the Chinese for its excellent liver oil, very good for giving a man the hardest of honeymoon dick.
Now, the full story of the event and its aftermath can be revealed.
Graham Blade is a twenty-eight year old plumber from Torquay, the town you live if you wanna surf Bells, Winki and so on. He’s a little sick at the moment, chronic fatigue syndrome, and was filming his pal Matt Sedunary, thirty-five, shredding small Southside, a wave immediately south of Bells.
Blade was sitting on the cliff overlooking the waves with his digital camera, entry level but quality lens, good enough to film his buddy surf, when he heard a shrieking so loud it felt like someone was yelling directly into his ear.
“Literally…screaming,” says Blade. “I didn’t know what was happening. I thought he was having a panic attack or something.”
In the water, Blade’s buddy, Matt, was trying to calm down a surfer from Reunion Island, Dylan Nacass, who said he’d been bitten by a shark.
Blade started filming, the water unseasonably clear, the shark visible.
If you examine the photo, below, you can see Matt, yellow, thinking it’s all a fabulous time, while Narcass is in what he believes, perhaps incorrectly given is a life-or-death scenario.
It wasn’t until the pair had paddled twenty metres in that Blade realised the shark was at their feet.
“I yelled, ‘It’s still behind ya! Paddle in!’”
In the carpark, Nacass’ hands were shaking so badly he couldn’t type his phone number into Blade’s phone.
“He eventually came good and said he was going to get some beers, that he was happy for his life, that he was going to go and relax.”
Blade says it wasn’t until his buddy Matt saw the footage, and saw how close the shark was the whole time, that it was actually just behind his feet, that he got shaken up.
“He was watching the footage and said he didn’t realise it was there, that it was so close the whole time. That spooked him out the most. That there was no warning. And even when it bit the dude on the knee not one bit of water moved around him. That kept playing on his mind.”
Back at their Torquay palace, Blade and Sedunary were hunted by reporters with their news crews, who made the pair play Supercross on their Xbox for some B-roll footage.
Blade wasn’t sure if he should, or could, ask for money for his footage so out it went, for free.
Later that night, when the pals, who share a house, spoke about it, Blade said, “Mate, it’s pretty full-on to be in the water when someone actually got bitten. Whether the bite was massive or tiny, it’s wild.”
And all though the course of the afternoon and night, Blade was getting texts from Nacass.
“He was saying he couldn’t sleep and he was stressing out. I told him, yeah, well, you did just get bitten by a shark. It does make sense.”
Watch the HD footage and hear the blood-curdling screams below!
Breaking: John John Florence determinedly surfs Kelly Slater’s new Palm Springs “wave basin” while ecstatic fans cheer!
Architectural renderings are such wonderfully utopian works of art, no? There’s something about the aspirational quality, the gauzy haze, the real-yet-computer-generated people standing here and there. Everyone always having a good time. Much space between parties, especially in the day of social distancing.
I’m a fan of the genre and am thrilled to showcase a just released piece featuring Kelly Slater’s recently announced Palm Springs Surf Ranch from CCY Architects, a team of “architects, interior designers, sketchers, writers, snowsliders, and motivated people united by a passionate spirit” based in Basalt, Colorado.
Per Instagram we read, “On The Boards: Located in California’s Coachella Valley, Coral Mountain resort is a next-generation recreational experience, anchored by the Kelly Slater Wave Company’s 14-acre Wave Basin.”
And if you click here you will behold the most detailed description yet of the project but back to the rendering, doesn’t it make you want to book your trip immediately?
John John Florence determinedly heading out in full wetsuit even though it is Palm Springs and everyone is in shorts and a girl appears to have just gotten out of the pool in a bikini. Seabass, maybe, watching from deck with triumphant fist raised. Millennial on skateboard really cruising for a bruising. Plenty of open space. Friendly conversations here and there. Enough ethnic diversity to feel “woke” or at least “woke-ish.”
Which brings us to the real question.
How much would you pay for a condo onsite?
What about a condo three blocks away?
Crime and Punishment: Man daring to lay on beach gets run over by Florida police officer driving Ford Explorer!
When I was a younger man, one of my favorite things to read was The World’s Most Dangerous Places by Robert Young Pelton. The travel guide detailed various countries/autonomous regions like Afghanistan, North Korea, Chechnya, giving each one a danger ranking while providing tips on how to move around, where to eat, who to look out for etc.
Very fun though if written today, the beaches of these United States would rank the most dangerous of all, or at least would have one month ago.
Surfing outlawed, standing still while gazing at the ocean outlawed, eating Asian fusion cuisine within a chopstick throw of the beach outlawed. Much police officer harassment. Many bullhorns used at maximum volume.
Restrictions have, thankfully, started to relax but are our beaches any safer?
"Safe travels and hopefully you are mowing more foam, and ripping again somewhere better."
It was reported here yesterday that a 26-year-old surfer was killed by a fatal shark attack a mile south of Manresa State Beach, very near Santa Cruz. He was surfing 100 yards from the shore, at about 1:30 in the afternoon, when the attack occurred and was pronounced dead at the scene from a leg injury.
Today, it was revealed that the surfer, Ben Kelly, was a local shaper.
I am a self-taught shaper bringing the core fundamentals of board building into a fresh new mindset and clean modern feel that works for you! I love the process of creating: taking something raw and formless and making it into something both functional and aesthetic. This involves working directly with surfers where they are at in their surfing journey and equipping them to take the next step.
you were doing it brotha!!!! Your quick rise and hard work was inspirational and it is really hard to think that the central coast is all of a sudden going to have to move on without you. So much love to you and your family. Safe travels and hopefully you are mowing more foam, and ripping again somewhere better.