Solid Surf Not So Swell for Brave Bronte Boardrider
It was one of those big winters swells that only come around once in a blue moon, an east coast low caused by an August full moon generating giant sets that pounded the Eastern Beaches for nearly a week.
You could hear the screams of delight as the ballsy Bronte surfers revelled in the epic conditions. But on the last solid morning, just as the dream run of swell began to abate, ecstasy turned to agony for one of the seasoned watermen as he came unstuck in a dredging, sand-filled keg, emerging from beneath the ocean’s surface writhing in agony.
William ‘Boris’ Young had just paddled out off the reef with his good mate Mitchell ‘Swamps’ Scott and wasted no time launching into one of the biggest waves of the session. Mr Scott watched as his mate took the death-defying drop and moments later heard the screams.
“I thought it was Boris celebrating making the wave, but I soon realised that he was actually screaming in pain,” a somewhat shaken Mr Scott told The Beast.
“Fortunately, ‘Whippet’ (Ryan Clark) was between us and I saw him paddle over and grab Boris.”
A volunteer lifesaver from Bronte Surf Club was in the water nearby with a paddleboard, and what happened in those ensuing moments proved crucial in stabilising Mr Young and getting him safely to shore.
“Whippet grabbed a rescue board from one of the local clubbies and put Boris on it and signalled to the lifeguards, who called a jet ski to come over from Bondi,” Mr Scott said.
Former professional surfer, chef and tradesman, Perth Standlick, was also on the scene, lending his multiskilled hands to help Mr Young onto the rescue board.
Mr Clark, who happens to be a Waverley lifeguard and veteran Bondi Rescue star, said that when he got close enough to Mr Young he initially thought the experienced surfer had dislocated his knee. It was only after they got him up on the board that he realised the extent of the damage.
“I saw Boris go past me and watched him pull into a low barrel, and the lip kind of pushed him into the wave,” Mr Clark explained.
“To be honest, the wipeout didn’t look that bad, but when he popped up he didn’t look that good.”
“One of the clubbies was there on a board and I grabbed it and put Boris on it and tried to get him to shore, but the set waves and big shore break made it almost impossible to get in and we had to paddle back out into calmer water,” Mr Clark said.
Waverley lifeguards who were watching from the beach thought it was a spinal injury at first and immediately radioed for the jet ski.
“When the ski arrived, we got Boris onto the mat and managed to get him into shore,” Mr Clark explained.
“All his mates were waiting to help carry him up the beach, where we kept him warm while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.”
Mr Young will be out of action for a long time due to the extent of his injuries, which include a smashed knee, multiple shattered bones and severe ligament damage. He also severed his peroneal nerve.
He was unable to be contacted for this article due to his ongoing stay in the hospital, but all our thoughts are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery.
The Bronte Boardriders are organising a fundraiser for their mate, who now faces a possible three to four additional operations. Not only will he be out of the water for a long period while he recovers, but he will also be unable to work.