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Catch A Wave An You're Sitting On Top Of The World

You're bound to see this story somewhere - Briton Surfs Tsunami, Survives.

HIKKADUWA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - British surfer Martin Markwell had always dreamed of catching that perfect wave -- but when it finally came along, it was a nightmare.

Markwell was paddling on his surfboard Sunday off the popular Hikkaduwa beach resort on Sri Lanka's palm-fringed southern coast when he was swept up by a tsunami wave and sent crashing over a white sand beach and into a hotel restaurant.

"It was really terrible because I was surfing, I was really surfing on a wave I wasn't supposed to be on," he told Reuters.

"As an experienced surfer, when I saw the wave come I realized something was wrong, but I couldn't escape because my surfboard was tied to my ankle."

His wife Vicki and son Jake looked on in horror from a hotel balcony as he crashed toward the shore. Miraculously, he stayed atop his board until he reached the hotel, jumped off and waded to safety as the ocean rolled back to feed a much larger tsunami wave on its way.

I was with him until that last paragraph.

If the reason he couldn't escape the tsunami wave was his surf leash, they never quite explain why the leash wasn't a problem when he "jumped off" the board at the hotel. And of course there's the wife and child "watching in horror," which while possible seems like it might have been added to make the story more dramatic.

It's a good thing he and his family survived, but this smells of a fish story.


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Comments (10)

Just curious....when do Spr... (Below threshold)
Trump:

Just curious....when do Springsteen, Ben Affleck, and the rest of the Hollywood and Music crowd who gave so much time to Kerry hold a benefit concert for Tsumani relief?

If the reason he couldn'... (Below threshold)

If the reason he couldn't escape the tsunami wave was his surf leash, they never quite explain why the leash wasn't a problem when he "jumped off" the board at the hotel.

I asked myself that same question when I first read this, but decided not to try and throw logic into this.

Those ankle leashes are jus... (Below threshold)

Those ankle leashes are just attached with velcro. You can't unhook it when you're standing and precariously balanced, but by the time he got to shallow water (and wasn't going to fall fifty feet if he lost his balance), he'd be able to crouch down and unhook it.

One of the news channels to... (Below threshold)
cirby:

One of the news channels today had a woman who was scuba diving at a wreck when the waves passed over her.

There were also quite a few people on boats who ended up sitting in very large, odd-shaped bathtubs some distance inland.

So are you thinking that he... (Below threshold)

So are you thinking that he just rode this big ole wave thinking "awesome dude!!??" And that might sound bad, like he was catching a wave instead of being in shock or what?

by the time he got to sh... (Below threshold)

by the time he got to shallow water (and wasn't going to fall fifty feet if he lost his balance),

There seems to be a common misconception about tsunamis. They're not usually big, towering, fifty-foot waves. The video I saw (linked here at Wizbang, in fact) showed a wave that might have been about the height of a good surfing wave. What made it a tsunami is that there wasn't a trough close behind it -- the water just kept coming, and coming, and coming.

Sounds like Reuters' copy d... (Below threshold)

Sounds like Reuters' copy desk was on a long coffee break. This is the kind of thing for which copy desks were invented long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

in open water, a surfboard ... (Below threshold)
jeff:

in open water, a surfboard leashed to your ankle will pull you down in heavy surf, like a massing wall of water that is a tsunami. Once you are into shore you can wade in while holding your board (the leash itself can be 6+ feet in length)

I don't know what this guy is talking about, but I can see how he wasn't able to cut his board loose and stay on the outside (although it wouldn't have made a difference in this case because the current caused by all that water coming in to shore would pull you in anyways).

I really doubt this guy was actually surfing the wave, probably more like holding on to his board getting dragged into shore is more like it.

Don't think too hard about ... (Below threshold)
adf:

Don't think too hard about his surfboard leash, which isn't actually tied but secured by velcro. A simple tug in the right spot and it's off. Although it is always easy to detach, it is even easier once standing on solid ground.

These are unrideable surges, not waves, per se. So he probably he wasn't "surfing" as much as probably riding the whitewater like a boogieboard -- which is precisely how I'd have done it. By clinging to the board, arms locked underneath and weight-moved way to the back, it's possible to ride out terrible whitewater from monster waves into shore -- I assume this is how he did it.

please all of you take a le... (Below threshold)
sam:

please all of you take a leash any leash and hang yourselves 150.000 and climbing. your time is better spent on he web donating money instead of inane opinions.




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