Stand Up Paddle legend and surfing all rounder Justin Holland has reportedly suffered a serious leg injury this afternoon whilst surfing the Cow Bombie in Cowaramup Bay, near Margaret River in Western Australia. The surf break is renowned as one of the top big wave spots in the southern hemisphere and can handle swell in excess of 35 feet.
UPDATE: Justin has spoken from his hospital bed, posting this late last night.
“Really stoked that me man Jamie Mitchell was there to save my arse, and to Quiksilver for that inflatable vest, she worked great crew,” he said.
“Cheers to @jamiescottimages and @nimsvision for hanging a round shooting … Looks like I’m out for a while but all good and hope you guys all got waves … remember, keep frothing and thanks to all the nice messages yew.”
He also posted his x-ray this morning showing the severe fracture to his upper leg.
EARLIER: It is understood that Justin, a highly experienced surfer and waterman, was towed in to a large set wave. Justin apparently took the wave a little too deep and upon straightening out, bore the full brunt and force of the crushing lip on the rear portion of his board, including his leg. He is said to have sustained a broken femur.
The Indian Ocean is currently alive with a rare and significant oceanic event, with a tremendous long-fetch swell steaming north past Western Australian and now hitting Indonesia. This particular swell event has been labelled by some as a once in lifetime, and even a once in a century ocean swell event.
The 38-year-old father of two was with good mate and fellow Gold Coast big wave surfer Jamie Mitchell at the time. The two were out getting footage for an upcoming film. Mitchell had already towed Holland onto three or four solid ones when a larger set came through.
“Then a really big one came through, probably the biggest one all day,” Jamie told ABC news.
“He was a little bit too far behind the peak and straightened out and the wave literally broke right on the tail of his board and just really detonated him really hard. He had to take one more on the head and then I went in and grabbed him and he was screaming his leg, his leg.”
Mitchell along with ski driver Keighley Bremner eventually got Justin onto the sled and immobilised his leg as best they could. Justin was then taken to shore at North Point, and then taken to Margaret River hospital by ambulance. No doubt the ski not only got him into the dangerous situation, but in turn saved his life.
Holland may was moved to Bunbury Hospital for surgery and is expected to have a long repair process ahead, however initial reports suggest he is likely to make a full recovery. Get well soon frother!