"Everyone is just blown away."
Great tragedy struck on the coast of New Zealand yesterday. Local media is reporting that, yesterday Jamie Civil died yesterday just after surfing in a competition at Aramoana, a beach near the southern city of Dunedin. Civil, 35, had wrapped his heat and decided to paddle back out for another session. Witnesses say he had just finished a ride when he was pulled under water and held down for some time. People both in the water and on the sand immediately rushed to save with with doctors and lifeguards performing CPR and using a defibrillator. He was airlifted out via helicopter but not able to be revived.
His partner and six-month-old daughter were on the beach at the time.
No novice, Civil was in great shape and had won a numerous titles with his brother-in-law Homa Mattingly adding, “He loved the big heavy barrelling waves, would often surf them on his own because no-one else was brave enough to enter the water.”
Lyndon Fairbairn, one of Civil’s friends and also member of the South Coast Boardriders Association told Stuff New Zealand that he had seen him ten minutes before the tragedy and,”He had the biggest smile on his dial, he was happy as. That’s how quickly the ocean can take you. And when it’s someone like Jamie, who everyone respects as a big wave surfer, he’s in 30s, he’s fit, healthy and to be taken, it’s a big shock to everyone. Everyone’s just blown away.”
The South Coast Boardriders Assoc. released a statement reading, “The New Zealand Surfing community lost one of its most respected surfers on Saturday, March 26, 2022 when Jamie Civil drowned while surfing huge waves at Aramoana. These were the conditions he lived for was talented and experienced with and thrived in, making the tragedy so much harder for people to process. Jamie’s partner Courtney and their baby daughter Lenni were at the beach when the incident happened. Jamie loved them both dearly. They had become a perfect part of his world and he loved the beautiful life they created and were building for their future.”
A crowd fund has been set up to support Civil’s young family.