Freedom! Photo by Alan Van Gysen
Dane Reynolds Released From Custody In Portugal (And How It Happened)
Sometimes the US Embassy needs a push.
After being detained for 48 hours in a Lisbon Airport, Dane Reynolds is no longer in a cell.
While locking Dane up for two days might seem excessive to us as surfers and fans, with recent immigration issues and a mass of Syrians seeking refuge throughout Europe, the greater continent is, understandably, on high alert.
Stab called the US Embassy in Portugal – the same one that, according to Nic von Rupp, and an Instagram post by Jason 'Mini' Blanchard, was doing “very little to help (Dane).”
"In cases like this we are bound by privacy act restrictions that prevent us from talking about individual cases," a representative from the US Embassy and Consulate in Lisbon, Portugal told Stab. "Not knowing the details of the case, my impression is that there must be more to the story if they’ve held him for 48 hours. Portugal is the same as any other country regarding the general rules of exiting and entering. Further than that, I don’t have the details nor can I comment on this particular case."
According to Nic and Mini, the situation arose because Dane lost his passport. “They took his phone, backpack and shoelaces WTF!” said Mini in the post that set Instagram ablaze. But how sinister could DR really be? Just look at him:
“It was a shitty situation,” Nic told Stab. “It was a simple issue: He lost his passport. But with all the immigration issues going on here in Europe, it doesn’t matter who you are. Things escalated fast, then the US Embassy didn’t take care of him.”
The fact that surfing is one of Portugal’s preferred pastimes worked in Dane’s favour. They were quick to unite and the surf community took to the embassy with gusto. “No one knew where he was until we heard he was in Lisbon last night," says Nic. "Tiago Pires, who’s proper legend status in Portugal, and everyone in the surf community, pulled their strings to get him out of there. If there’s a place where a name like Dane Reynolds will get you somewhere, it’s Portugal. Surfing is huge here.”
“I got a friend to go down and check on him at night just to see if he was ok, then everyone went down to put pressure on the American Embassy. It was Craig (Anderson), Brendon (Gibbons), the guys from Surfer, the guys from the WSL over here and Mini; everyone was trying to get him out of there. We were in front of the embassy for six hours, the guys from Surfer and Mini stayed until after 8pm."
“When I spoke with him he was still tripping,” continues Nic. “They wouldn’t give him any information; he had no clue what was happening."
Eventually, after 48 hours locked in a cell, and no contact with the outside world, prompted by the pleas of Dane’s friends, and the Portuguese surf community, the US Embassy came to Dane's aid, resulting in his release. With immigration being such a sensitive topic in 2017 (see: refugees, terror organisations, and executive actions by Donald), if the situation was reversed (a Portuguese citizen arriving at US border control sans-passport) the implications could’ve been much more severe. It’s that whole zero-tolerance tidbit that's trending in our current (and kinda regressing?) political climate. But Dane's intentions in Portugal clearly weren't sinister and, thankfully, the US Embassy stepped in.
Just like Wu-Tang, Immigration "Ain't nothin' to fuck with."