“The Sport of Poets” is generally soothing to the mind, spirit and body. Shark attacks on snorkelers are rare and even more rare in the Florida Keys where Jimmy Buffett croons.
Not yesterday, though, and shrieks filled with horrible terror replaced Cheeseburgers in Paradise. But also, a legend was born out of the din. Police reports on the incident, just released, reveal that Eddy was saved by a hero.
His pregnant wife.
Margot Dukes-Eddy was standing on the boat when she saw a dorsal fin then blood fill the water. Without fear or hesitation she threw herself into the cauldron, drug her husband onto the boat and very likely saved his life.
But have you ever read anything so incredible?
So selflessly selfless?
Let’s be quite honest here. You have never saved anyone from the jaws of certain death nor have you ever been pregnant. Both are, individually, remarkable feats. Together?
The pinnacle of human accomplishment.
Florida has already erected a statue in 11x surfing champion Kelly Slater’s honor but I think if the Keys do not erect one in honor of Margot Dukes-Eddy than it will be a rotten precedent. Kelly Slater has never saved anyone from the jaws of certain death nor has ever been pregnant.
More as the story develops.
World Surf League gambit to emotionally defraud French surfer Justine Dupont pays off as mainstream media crows about Maya Gabeira: “Meet Brazilian Bombshell Beating the Boys in Big Waves!”
Two short weeks ago the surf world was set on fire as Justine Dupont exploded in anger at the World Surf League. The Frenchwoman had been up for cbdMD XXL Biggest Wave Award though lost to Brazilian Maya Gabeira in an approximate game of centimeters.
The @wsl announced that the record for the biggest wave surfed would be awarded to a surfer who does not finish her wave. I decided to smile about it even though I am deeply hurt to be subjected to a decision that I believe is totally unfairI’m especially disappointed and ashamed of this league which claims to represent our sport . They are based on a report from scientists who use the word “approximate” in front of each of their statements. It is stipulated among other things that:
-The size of the 2 surfer girls is approximately identical: FALSE (at + or – 10cm) -Our two waves are approximately the same distance from the photographer: FALSE these are 2 different peaks on the biggest beach break in the world. -They define the bottom of the wave of my competitor about 2m below where the lip of the wave breaks. -Images of the other surfer were used after the publication deadline.
The World Surf League’s dubious decision to award an unfinished ride when all other things are relatively equal was confusing, at the time, but clearer today as the mainstream media appears to be embracing the “Brazilian bombshell beating the boys.”
It’s official. Maya Gabeira’s 73.5-foot monster wave at Nazare wasn’t just the biggest ever surfed by a woman, it was also the largest wave surfed by anyone — man or woman — in the world this year.
In the crowning moment of an incredible career, the 33-year-old Brazilian charged down the face of a giant wall of water at the same beach in Portugal where she nearly drowned in 2013.
“If there’s one thing I’ll never forget about this wave, it’s the noise it made when it broke behind me,” Gabeira said. “It was scary.”
“Brazilian Bombshell” + “Big Waves” = A clear marketing win for the beleaguered World Surf League which has rumbled through a series of gaffs since Coronavirus pulled the plug on competition. CEO Erik Logan, who had come from the Oprah Winfrey Network and styled himself as a “storyteller,” was only able to mimic already-out-of-date YouTube unboxing videos and maybe something else embarrassing that nobody watched.
And, six days ago, at the mouth of Tallebudgera Creek, a thin cord of water that separates Palm Beach from Burleigh Heads, and where you might paddle out when Burleigh is big, a twelve-foot Great White was spotted.
Three days ago, photographer Chris Laught (@mrmysto), born in South Oz but living in Cabarita while he studies film at a vocational college in nearly Kingscliff, was shooting Duranbah, a few hundred metres from where Nick Slater was killed by a Great White two weeks earlier.
The waves, three-foot, a little bigger on the sets, dreamy as hell. Not even six am and already forty guys were out chasing a morning hit before the spring onshore.
The following day Chris is processing his shots on his laptop when he sees a Great White swimming through a wave, fifteen feet from surfers.
“I immediately thought I should right a shark hotline but figured it’s already twelve hours too late,” he says.
Chris, who rides a bodyboard, knows about sharks.
He’s photographed, swam and surfed desert South Australia plenty of times, seen Whites, knows guys who’ve been brushed.
And, he was hit, literally, by a bronze whaler while surfing at Goolwa Beach south of Adelaide in 2012, the animal hitting his leg with speed, “a massive collision” he calls it, “way harder than being hit by a cricket ball.”
The collision crushed his calf muscle, gave him a thing called compartment syndrome where pressure within the muscles builds to dangerous levels. He’s had three bouts with deep vein thrombosis and if he wants to fly anywhere he has to walk up and down the aisles for most of the flight.
He laughs, a little uneasily maybe, when we talk about the White at D-Bah. When he left South Oz to live on the NSW South Coast in 2016 he was thrilled to be in an area that, historically at least, wasn’t known for big sharks.
But this year’s shift to the north coast, to Cabarita, has coincided with the greatest concentration of Great White attacks on surfers, anywhere, in history.
First, he was told to avoid South Wall Ballina. Then he started seeing bait balls everywhere at Caba and started to think, this doesn’t feel like the tropical sea change I thought it’d be.
“You don’t associate Great Whites with Queensland,” he says.
Chris was there, in the Caba carpark, when Christian Bungate survived the hit by the eighteen-footer.
“The beach had just been evacuated and he showed me the tooth in his foil,” says Chris. “He was really shaking, he juste wanted to get out of there.”
Whites here, Whites there, now turning up close to shore, close to surfers at D-Bah?
The photo put the wind up him?
“Oh man, I’d love to get the boog out at D-Bah, I still do, but you have that wariness, the same you get when you surf desert South Australia. You’re playing the numbers game up here, to be honest.”
Watch: Terror strikes northern California town as mountain lion stalks children weeks after Great White shark singles out woman!
Pacifica, California just south of San Francisco was most famous for being home of funnyman Rob Schneider until just three weeks ago when the town of just over 38,000 made news when a Great White shark singled out a female surfer, amongst a group of men, and attempted to eat her.
According to Bevan Bell, who was out amongst it, “I saw this big gray shape, just under the surface of the water, and that top fin, and the big shark went directly under her. The length of that sucker was like 8 feet. It went right towards her, and as the wave lifted her up [on her board], it literally went right under her.”
Terrifying and awful, only eclipsed by today’s news. For today it was revealed that a Mountain Lion is malingering around Pacifica, trying to eat children out innocently playing.
Local Timothy Kerrisk was watching the children when we realized an inappropriate Mountain Lion sitting calmly on his property along Mason Drive was also watching the children go back and forth.
Back and forth.
Kerrisk recorded potential nastiness on his phone and screamed for the children to leave.
The Mountain Lion jumped over a fence into the driveway and continued to watch the children, likely smacking its lips.
Kerrisk said, “I was terrified. I was really afraid for the kids and it was just pure adrenaline. I just came out and was like, ‘No, no, no, get, get, get.’ And I was just chasing it like you would like a regular cat, ‘Get out of here, get, get.’ And luckily it turned and just kept going.”
But where did it go? Maybe to trade notes with the Great White?
Coordinate an apocalypse that will leave only grown men in Pacifica?
Man bitten on shoulder by 10-foot Bull Shark almost immediately after entering water in “very rare medical crisis” for Florida Keys
Some places are luckier than others, I suppose, when it comes to experiencing very rare medical crises. They are entirely commonplace in New York City, say, or Los Angeles with much personnel and infrastructure at the ready. Emergency rooms, equipment, etc.
Not so common, apparently, in the Florida Keys which witnessed a severe and unprovoked shark attack, yesterday, by a likely 10-foot Bull.
According to reports, Andrew Charles Eddy, 30, from Atlanta was in the Keys vacationing with family and decided to jump into the crystalline water for a delightful snorkel.
Snorkeling, as you should know, is one of the most sublime activities on earth and generally under-appreciated but what could be better than floating on the surface, passively watching a most colorful tableau beneath?
Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter, take it from me… except in the case of Eddy who was bitten on the shoulder before he even had a few seconds to enjoy.
The local sheriff’s office had received earlier information that there was a Bull Shark in the area but no one was fishing or chumming the waters where the attack occurred.
Eddy’s relatives and onlookers sprung into action and gave him first aid until he was airlifted to a Miami hospital.
“This was a very rare medical crisis for the Florida Keys, but everyone came together – including those witnesses on the boat to 911 communicators to all our emergency responders – in order to ensure this victim received life-saving care,” Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a statement.
This whole incident is troubling as it appears as if the Bull was intent on causing pain and suffering while a human partook in the sublime drift. If Eddy had been surfing provocatively it would have at least made sense but snorkeling?
The Sport of Poets.
Something Henry David Thoreau would have done had snorkels been invented.