Watch: Harry Bryant, Benny Howard Save Drowning Swimmer
“He was treading water, barely, and he was fucking going blue.”
Last Friday, the day before Australia/Invasion Day and the start of the long weekend, Benny Howard, Harry Bryant, Dav Fox and a few others sunk tins at Port Macquarie breakwall-adjacent skatepark. A pretty stereotypical P-Mac setting, but one which ended in a strange and in hindsight, memorable night.
In short, Benny Howard saved a bloke’s life. So, we’ll let him tell the story.
“We were just at the skatepark having a few beers and some cops drove past and seemed to be sussing out the river.” Ben told Stab. “They were flashing their lights in the river and what not. Then we saw a bloke frantically running up the point with a bodyboard. We didn’t think much of it at the time though.
“We eventually went over to look and there was a bloke in the river getting swept out past the breakwalls. We were watching, the cops were doing nothing and I kinda realised I had to go out there and get the dude.
“I just grabbed the foamie on Harry’s roof and started paddling out. I reckon the dude was out there for like 40 minutes and he was totally screwed when I got there. He was treading water, barely, and he was fucking going blue. I gave him the board, but he couldn’t speak english and was struggling to stay on top of it.
“It’s hard to describe, but you could just tell he was absolutely rooted.”
From there, Benny brought the dude in. It took about 10 minutes, then Harry Bryant and someone else helped bring him in the rest of the way.
“I think he’d swallowed heaps of water. The cops were pretty much still doing nothing and it took the paramedics about 15 minutes to get down there after we got him to shore. It was 7:30 at night too, so the light was fading pretty quickly.”
Although neither Benny, Harry, nor the other bystanders were trained in first aid, they managed to get him into a makeshift recovery position until the paramedics got there.
“He was just coughing up water and passing in and out of consciousness. He coughed up a bit by the time the paramedics came and then they took over.
“If we didn’t see him and go out there, he would’ve drowned for sure. There was no lifeguards or any other surfers or good swimmers around to really help. It was kinda lucky we noticed, and what else could you do but paddle out and help the dude.
“They took him off to hospital but I’m pretty sure he was sweet.
“The cops interviewed us, just that standard practice interview. The family thanked us as well. They couldn’t speak English and were super upset but you could tell how thankful they were.”
Afterwards Benny, Haz, Dav and the rest of them tripped out on what just happened and continued on into the weekend with a decent story to spill – with some Parkinsons-esque handycam footage to match. While guys like Haz and Ben are the sorts you’d expect to always take the piss, it’s good to see them save a life as the rest of the crowd succumbs to the bystander effect.
Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)
Watch the First Three Episodes of Stab & Red Bull No Contest Off Tour.
Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach
Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.
Long Read: An Angel At My Table
From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…
Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance
A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.
Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight
Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.
Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?
Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…
Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test
And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.
Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games
Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.
The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar
Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?
Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45
A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.
The Team Ukraine Interview
“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…
Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy
Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…
The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4
There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?
Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy
Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.