“It was like underwater jiujitsu…”
It’d be fair to say there ain’t too many men like John “Gordo the Great” Gordon, a sixty-one-year-old larger-than-life surfer-cinematographer who filmed the tour for twenty years before being dumped by the World Surf League, inexplicably and without warning he says, last year.
Gordo’s filmic career is marked by awards, acclaim etc. He worked for the Seven News network in Queensland for two decades, in between gigs with Jack McCoy and his series of iconic Billabong films, before shifting into surf full-time.
“He’s mates with everyone from world champ Mark Occhilupo to Hawaiian enforcer Johnny Boy Gomes to the locals in the black township behind Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, where he’s forged enduring friendships,” wrote Tim Baker in a sweet profile for the online magazine The Coastline.
Anyway, he’s the pizza boy, the pool boy, the camera guy, whatever you need, he’ll sort it.
So when a Gold Coast-based nurse jumped into the water at Fingal up there on the NSW side of the border with the Gold Coast and Gordo saw her being washed around the headland, he wasn’t going to stand by and wait for Superman.
“She was in the most dangerous spot imaginable. I looked around and the only person who’s going to save her is me,” said Gordo, who described trying to rescue the gal as like “underwater jiujitsu.”
“I couldn’t believe it. I stepped into nothing and it got me straight away,” said nurse Liv Titor. “Johnny jumped in with his surfboard, told me to hang on and said we’ll get through it together. And that’s what we did.”