Stab Magazine | Andre Botha saves Evan Geiselman's Life
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Andre Botha saves Evan Geiselman’s Life

Words by Jed Smith  Two time bodyboarding world champion and lauded underground charger, Andre Botha, has saved the life of Floridian Pro Evan Geiselman following a heavy wipeout at Pipe.  On one of those trademark evil second reef days at Pipe, Evan reportedly made a run off second reef, pulled in, got punished, and spent […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Words by Jed Smith 

Two time bodyboarding world champion and lauded underground charger, Andre Botha, has saved the life of Floridian Pro Evan Geiselman following a heavy wipeout at Pipe. 

On one of those trademark evil second reef days at Pipe, Evan reportedly made a run off second reef, pulled in, got punished, and spent three waves underwater. Andre was the first to him, dragging him to safety. An unconscious and blue in the face Evan was administered with CPR until he started vomiting water. It’s been reported that he was then taken to hospital with a laceration to the back of his head.

So heavy were the conditions that the day had started with Jamie O’Brien, John John and Ivan Florence and friends jumping step-offs at Pipe on a jet ski. As the conditions tempered, Julian Wilson, Owen Wright, Evan  and several others rolled the dice paddling the wash throughs.

This is the wave that swang in off the second reef. Evan put his head down and scrapped in mad, it pinched and sent him to the hospital. Photo: Tom Hawkins

This is the wave that swang in off the second reef. Evan put his head down and scrapped in mad, it pinched and sent him to the hospital. Photo: Tom Hawkins

It’s as dangerous and unpredictable as surfing gets, rolling-in off second reef and waiting for the wave to either open up or, more likely closeout. It’s a day that Andre Botha further proved, as if he needed to, what a legendary character he is. The no-frills South African booger is famous for pulling up on his bicycle, paddling out, and putting on a clinic to the howls and shrieks of onlookers. I’ve watched it firsthand. It’s possibly the best one man show in surfing. He now adds ‘lifesaver’ to his list of achievements.

Stab just received this update from the waiting room:

Evan Geiselman is currently in stable condition after suffering a very serious wipeout at Pipeline today.

After being engulfed by a 15-foot double-up, Evan failed to come to the surface and subsequently suffered a three-wave hold down. South African bodyboarder Andre Botha eventually found him unconscious and began to attempt rescue breathing while swimming him to shore. In the heavy shorebreak they were met by lifeguards, as well as surfers Mick Fanning, Danny Fuller, Kalani Chapman, Brian Toth and a handful of others. After expelling copious amounts of water Evan regained consciousness. Paramedics continued to work on him in the beach park where he was eventually loaded up into an ambulance and taken to Queens Hospital.

Because of the heroic efforts of everyone that came to Evan’s aid he is expected to recover from this near tragedy.

“Thanks to everyone, especially Andre, he was truly Evan’s guardian angel,” says (Ev’s brother) Eric Geiselman. “Everyone responded so heroically and our family cannot thank them enough. We also must remember that the conditions were serious and this is what Mother Nature can do. The surf community needs to remember to always take a minute to consider the consequences of every wave. Today we are very blessed to still have Evan with us.”

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