Thursday, June 5, 2008


29th April 2008

I was loving my vacation. Our beach house was exactly that...50 steps down from the house onto the beach. A double story overlooking the ocean...magnificent.

My family and I were having a fabulous time. I'd been surfing every day...twice a day actually, out on the point, deep water, in the very early morning and a beach break during the day so that I could be with my family during the day on main beach, St Francis Bay, One of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Tuesday the 29th was no different...a magnificent sunny day, the ocean as blue as it could be. Swimmers, boogie boarders, paddle skiers all just having fun. My kids were on the beach, my girlfriend chatting to a surf instructor....I, was surfing the shore break.

As far as shore breaks go this one was a biggish wave that formed very quickly and if you didn't get onto it smartly you were going to get dumped.

I have been surfing since I was 12 and have studied the ocean all this time and I have great respect for the sea, I figured I could get onto this wave quick enough to make it a fun ride.

I got smacked a few times...but that comes with the teritory, I knew that and I persisted.

My final wave started was forming nicely from right to left and although the take off was really steep..I went for it.

I was too late on the take off, ended up on top of the wave and "went over the falls" (got dumped)

Trouble was I got thrown head first onto a sand bank. Water immediatly started filling the channel and before I knew it I was chest deep in swirling water, the current trying to pull me back to sea.

As soon as I hit the sand bank my head exploded and I knew I had broken my neck. I mean I heard the bones break. I was instantly disoriented, felt badly nauseous and had the most excrutiating pain in my head.

What do I do now? I had a choice. Fight for my life and find a way out of the water ..... or just give up, let go and drown.



Marbella said...

Damn broke your neck? I can´t believe this! Am sooo sorry and cannot wait to hear how you are. Just yesterday mentioned to Debbie that guess we had lost you and what a shame to not know anything about you anymore. Do tell us all. Will spread the word.

Andrew said...

Mate, I really hope that you are kidding but the sickening in my stomach tells me you aren't. How are you doing? Whats the prognosis?

Are your family and kids OK?

I'll email you later, take care,


Debbie said...

Dougal - I am so sorry to hear of your accident. I hope you are healing quickly. Will come back tomorrow to hear part 2.

Joni said...

Wow - want to hear part 2! Hope you are okay, I can't believe this! Be back tomorrow. said...

Dougal that's intense! Since you are blogging about it, you obviously fought for your life. Hope you had a full, safe recovery. Will come back to read part 2. Much love and healing to you and your family. Love, Lil

Michael said...

Dougal, that's some crazy stuff! I'm glad you are alive.

Your Grateful Cyber-friend, Christy said...

Dougal. Even though I know you're at the very least well enough to blog, I am so worried about you. You're level of fitness is real testament to the fact that you were able to fight for your life and win. I really hope you're not in too much pain. I'm praying for a speedy recovery and healing for you and your family. Please post as soon as you are able. We're all so worried about you.

Suzette said...

I am with hope you are ok and healing. was wondering about you and hoped you hadn't forgot about us. will keep you in my prayers. will be looking for the rest of your story.

dougal said...

My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your concern. I'm writing the story in parts because it's too hard to do it all in one go. Thanks for your patience.