"I have a lot of thoughts about what it means to almost die on a two-foot head dip in a pool in Central Texas."
A Californian surfer has barely avoided an audience with her maker after she was impaled on her fin and belted her head on the concrete bottom at the world’s premier wave pool, Waco Surf.
Nicole Lynch, who hails from Venice Beach, was into her fourth session at Waco Surf when she got bounced in the barrel.
“As I tumbled I hit the bottom, my fin stabbed me in the gut as hard as anything I’ve ever felt,” she writes.
“My head slammed on the concrete bottom of the (Waco Surf) pool. The pain was excruciating, I had a massive egg on my head and a protrusion like an alien fist sticking out of my abdomen.”
Things went south real fast.
“CT Scans at the local ER revealed terrifying news: I was bleeding internally from my aorta, the main blood vessel that comes out of the heart and feeds the body. I needed to be transported to a Grade 1 Trauma hospital immediately. They made arrangements to helicopter me to Baylor Hospital, every minute counted. There I was whisked straight into the operating room for emergency surgery.
“When I woke up I heard the news. I had suffered a Grade 3 traumatic aortic rupture. The bulge from my stomach was a traumatic abdominal wall hernia. Because the blow was so strong, they needed to remove all of my internal organs and visually inspect them to ensure there was no other damage. I am left with a massive 11 inch incision spanning the length of my abdomen. The doctors say the best I can hope for is an 80% recovery of my abdominal strength. I spent 5 days in the hospital.
“I’m lucky to be alive, that Doc Faye was with me likely saved my life. She is a fucking legend! And Veronica who ran point on everything and slept with Faye in the ICU so they could keep an eye on me every second. My sisters Amy and Nicole red-eyed out to Texas to be by my side. I received excellent care every step of the way.”
Later she wrote to BeachGrit a little sardonically, “I have a lot of thoughts about what it means to almost die on a two-foot head dip in a pool in Central Texas.”
Lynch ain’t the first surfer to nearly die at a wave pool.
You’ll surely remember UFC hall of famer BJ Penn’s brush with death when he was sucked outta the pool and into the engine room at an experimental facility.
BJ was sitting next to the owner of the pool, got a little close to the wall and, next thing, he’s fighting for his life.
Last year when I got sucked into a wave pool engine room and thought I was going to die… I kept thinking “don’t die for your kids” I was surfing for a about an hour and the line started getting longer to catch the wave. I was sitting next to the owner of the wave pool by the “wall” where the waves come from. The first wave it shoots out is a dud to get everyone ready for the next wave. The dud wave came back and because I was so close to the wall the wave swallowed me and pushed me and my surfboard underneath a huge cement wall.
I remember feeling like I was getting sucked in a pipe and at that moment I got scared. It ended up pushing me into a big dark cement room that fills up with water to push the next wave for the wave pool. It felt like I was in the movie SAW or Final destination. The room would fill up with water to the top and I would hold my breath and then it would push the water out to make the wave and it was really rough inside there.
Everything I bumped up against in the room that hurt me got infected. I got a bad sinus infection and a couple facial fractures from getting knocked around the cement walls and from the fractures the dirty water got in my face and infected my whole sinus. I was on antibiotics for three weeks for my face.
While I was in the wave pool engine room I knew that one of my friends outside from big island is a legendary surfer and I knew he would come in there to rescue me so I stayed calm. A lot of other people might have panicked and maybe gave up but I just stayed strong for my kids.
Anyway to make a long story short I survived that mother fucker 😛😛😛 !! The name of the people and water park have been left out. I not the kine guy shows up to your house to play and gets hurt and tries to sue you so all love ❤️ to everyone who helped me get there and helped me survive 🤙 Maybe I was the first guy in history to get sucked into a wave pool engine room while it is in operation but no matter what happens in life and no matter how scary it is if I can offer you any advice I would just say to “stay calm”. If I didn’t fight tough cunts my whole life I might have panicked, but it was just another day in the office
Shane Dorian, who was the legendary Big Island surfer who saved BJ, replied, “Happy you kept it together down there. That was really terrifying. Live to shred another day!”
A statement from URBNSURF said they’d reviewed the footage which showed “the surfer collapsed while paddling out and did not the hit the wall”.
A surfer who was in the lineup when the incident happened says the man “didn’t make the drop on a wave and just kind of tumbled and then all I saw was him floating but that was a little bit after…it took some time for people to get to him. It was weird. They did CPR on him for twenty minutes and then put a sheet over him and we all assumed the worst.”