A pretty confronting scene. Bodybag blurred out on beach. Photo: CH7news | Photo: @ch7news

Surfer killed by suspected twelve-to-fifteen-foot Great White shark near Byron Bay; other surfers fought off shark; all nearby beaches closed.

Outrageous acts of bravery fail to save surfer hit by shark…

A sixty-year-old Queensland surfer has died after being attacked by a ten-foot shark at Salt Beach, in front of popular holiday resorts Peppers Salt Resort and Spa and Mantra on Salt, and forty miles north of shark-attack hotspot Byron Bay.

NSW police confirmed the death after it was reported a 10-foot shark had hit the surfer on the leg.

Great Whites and a Bull shark had recently been spotted in the area.

The surfer died on the beach at 10:40am.

Witnesses report two other surfers fought off the shark before dragging the injured man to the beach where paramedics fought, unsuccessfully, to save his life.

A shark filmed in the area via news chopper. Photo: 9News

“Those two males had to fight off the shark and we’ll certainly be recognising their actions at a later stage for their heroic nature,” said Tweed-Byron police inspector Matt Kehoe. “It was a catastrophic injury and was deceased when he was brought to shore, despite the efforts of those two gentlemen. They did everything they could to save him.

Jetski swings by Great White near site of fatal attack. Photo: 7News

All beaches between Kingscliff and Cabarita have been cleared of swimmers and surfers and will remain closed for 24 hours.

Given shark attacks on surfers are the new normal, it makes a helluva lot of sense, particularly in areas where hits have become common, Byron Bay, WA, Santa Cruz, South Africa, to carry purpose-built tourniquets.

As reported six months ago, a shark attack, even by a monster White, doesn’t necessarily mean a death sentence.

Once you’ve stopped the blood flow using a tourniquet you’ve got four hours before the leg, or arm, is choked off and dies. It means if you’re at a remote beach with no phone redemption, you can tourniquet the wound and take off for an ambulance or chopper without your buddy dying.

Surf Doc Jon Cohen runs classes on how to treat shark attack wounds and sells repurposed military tourniquets on his site bettersurf.com.au for thirty bucks apiece or sixty if you want a version built into a legrope.

“All it takes is one person to squeeze the leg in the right spot,” says Cohen. “You only die from bleeding to death. Stop the bleeding, you stop the death. It’s the same as what soldiers in Iraq do. Their buddy gets shot in the leg, they put a tourniquet above the bleeding point, and they live.”

It ain’t complicated.

“You just have to step up and act,” he says.

South African police refuse to enforce country’s “ham-fisted, schizophrenic” no surfing laws; help surfers zip up their wetsuits!

"It was a wondrous sight."

The police sure are taking one on the chin right now what with protests roiling New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Paris. Rage. Pure rage boiling over from years, decades, of largely unchecked, brutal behavior. Systemic abuse of vulnerable minority communities, complete lack of accountability, a heretofore impenetrable blue wall of silence.

But change, maybe, real change floats on the fresh summer/autumn breeze with talk of defunding forces getting real traction and/or police being punished, actually punished, for acting inhumanely.

And in South Africa, police acting beautifully all by themselves. Oh, let us hurry to the Cape of Good Hope where “hundreds, if not thousands, of South African surfers went surfing in the bright blue on Monday, 1 June 2020, it remained wrapped in a grey area, a ham-fisted land of schizophrenic interpretation and mind-numbingly incongruous application of Level 3 laws.”

The floodgates opened as more and more surfers paddled out in clean 2-4 lines with perfect light offshore and deep blue skies. You sensed that the police were increasingly reluctant to clash with people brimming with joy. I overhead one jovial law enforcement officer amicably tell a small clump of onlookers that access to the beaches was not allowed, but surfing was. “You do what you have to do. I have to do what I am told.”

A surfer walked up to him and asked the cop to zip up his wetsuit. He obliged without hesitation, then politely watched the surfer walk across the forbidden sands to paddle out. It was a wondrous sight. I felt like going up to him and giving him a hug. Oh wait. Covid-19. What a screwed up world this pandemic has brought.

Wondrous indeed.

Change, maybe real change.

Melbourne wave tank to reopen June 19; new slab that stays open in onshores and improved version of “the beast” that don’t pinch or chandelier to be revealed!

Guaranteed tubes at seven dollars apiece ain't a bad sell.

It’s been a wild debut year for Australia’s first, and still only, public wave tank, located a mile-and-a-half walk, run or thirty-dollar cab ride from Melbourne airport.

In January, Urbnsurf was closed after freak “mud rain” left the facility with a brown tank. It was an act of God that must’ve taken the joint’s PR team by surprise given “mud-rain” is unlikely to’ve made it onto the list of potential closures. Death, turds, paralysis, board through an eyeball, lightning, hail, these you can prepare for and mount compelling responses to.

But to be shat on from outer space?

Mud rain shuttered the pool three months before COVID’s poisoned droplets parachuted down from outer space.

Also shitting on the pool was a Chinese-made influenza that shuttered the pool, and everything else, for two months.

Urbnsurf used the time closed to jump into a little early maintenance: peeling paint was patched, the generator got an early service etc.

In  two weeks, the place reopens.

With a few changes, most of ’em good.

Right now it’s eighty bucks to jump in a pool with eighteen other surfers hollering for each set’s twelve waves. (There’s eighteen sets an hour.)

Upon reopening, a new sesh for what can loosely be called “experts” will cost $129, twelve surfers in the water and every set a slab or  “beast mode” and its three variants. If it’s onshore, you’ll just get B4, a new version of the Beast that will stay open even if a mean ol’ southerly is tearing hell out of the place.

The other Beast modes have also been tweaked, reducing the weird chandeliering you get sometimes,

Eighteen tubs for $A129 or $US90 works out a pretty reasonable seven bucks apiece.

You wanna know if there’s an air wave yet?

Yeah, me too.

They got two.

One’s called The Ramp; the other don’t have a name but it’s supposedly “Waco-esque”.

No plans to loose it to the public sessions yet ’cause it’s so intimidating, effectively the Beast mode as a closeout.

(Book a private hour for $1500 and you can call in whatever you want.)

And the water temp?

In the guts of summer it hovered around twenty (sixty-five F); now it’s down to twelve (fifty-three F).

As a rule, it’s a buck-and-a-half under Victoria’s ocean water temps.

Brrrrrr, yeah, although you can now hire four-three and five-four Rip Curl suits.

Booties, hoods, too.

Jacuzzis remain closed until further notice.

Listen: “We live in a minefield and the best way across is to just run, willy-nilly, blowing off our legs and arms but at least giving ‘er hell!”

Cancel surfers.

OOOOOOOOOOOeeeeeee! How in the world is the surf community supposed to speak to this moment in modernity? This fraught day and age where a thoroughly degraded culture is being served its just desserts?

My goodness.

We, 80% (generous) white, are caught in a absurdist paradigm of shutting up and speaking out. Rumor has it that the World Surf League just cancelled a podcast with a guest simply because he was a white man.

Well, hell.


So what?

I don’t know.

I do know that surfing has a proud history (pre-WSL/Stab/Inertia) of being outlaw. Of being derelict, distrusted, bad and, thus, we non-Venice-adjacents should all support the oppressed in every way possible.




Fuck the.

Efficient modern authority structures?

Fuck them.

Besides that, I don’t know. I don’t know who to give to, where to go, who to support but am listening and also running across the minefield.


Also, fuck Filipe Toledo. You li’l pussy.

The first step in our helping is public ridicule.
The first step in our helping is public ridicule.

Revealed: Professional surfer Jack Freestone denies troubling addiction to Keeping up with the Kardashians, Vanderpump Rules!

He needs our help.

Professional surfers… they’re just like us. Tan, fit, model gorgeous with homes in Australia and Kauai, extremely silky barrel skills, above average air games, tan, fit, model gorgeous spouses and children who will someday make them even richer.

But, underneath the perfect facade and also just like us, trouble often lurks.

Drinking problems, uncontrolled gambling, watching modern reality television like Keeping up with the Kardashians or Vanderpump Rules but denying it.

Alas, the heartbreaking troubles of Jack Freestone, coupled with Alana Blanchard, are worrisome but let us hasten to the pages of E! Entertainment for more, so we can help Jack confront his demons.

What’s also special is Alana and Jack’s bond in and out of the water. While many days are spent catching waves, the pair also enjoys daytime dates and picnics outside.

And yes, Jack is guilty of tuning into his leading lady’s favorite reality TV shows.

“I’ll be watching either Vanderpump Rules or Keeping Up With the Kardashians and he’ll pretend to not want to watch it but then he’s fully tuning in,” she joked to us. “I keep up with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. He always gives me so much s–t about my reality TV but I just love them and every time I watch, he’s glued.”

Classic addiction behavior what with the “giving s–t” but secretly indulging.

Jack? If you are reading, the second step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. The first is public ridicule (see above).

Also, when I first skimmed the E! story I confused Vanderpump Rules with the film Van Wilder and thought, “What’s wrong with watching Van Wilder?”

A fine work that doesn’t get nearly enough attention.