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@richard_kotch

Tb to that time when there were five guys on the island, no boats in the channel and it was off-shore all day #travel #surftrip

@amy_kotch x @dafinhi @dafinaustralia Thanks for the worlds finest swim-fins #dafin #dafinhi

Thanks for all the kind words after my last post. I really wasn’t expecting it – the post was meant as a reminder for us all to look out for each other in the water, whether it’s 2ft or 50, but I appreciate all the messages. I think I’m out of the water for another week or two but I’m feeling lucky. This is a #tb to a good day on my #singlefin at the wave that almost got me! #sultans #gratitude

Rattled. One week ago. For a moment I thought that this might be my final vision. Sounds dramatic but seconds earlier I’d been in aquatic agony deep beneath the surface. I was running out of time, unable to move my arms. I thought about Amy and our little boy as I kicked off the reef and struggled to the surface. I’ve surfed this wave hundreds of times…maybe a thousand…but it almost got me. It had been a great swell, the best of the season so far and this was the last day …I was tired but stoked, needed a rest but stubbornly determined to ‘make the most of it’ and surf till dark. On auto pilot I turned on a wide set and pulled in from takeoff. The tube was a beautiful cylinder of sunset golds. I saw someone looking in over the shoulder, I could see our boat, and a fluffy pink cloud on the horizon, then I realized that the section ahead was twisted with backwash and I considered bailing backwards into the foamball, but I held my line…a second later I was clipped and I fell down into the pit whiplashing my neck, followed 100th of a second later by my board which hit me with incredible force in my upper chest and then a glancing blow to my chin. The pain was electric and my lungs emptied of air. My right arm went numb and my left was weak and tingling. Underwater I hit the reef which was lucky as it gave me something to push up from. As I neared the surface I was thinking about the next wave, praying that there wasn’t one but if there was that I’d have time to get a breath of air before it hit me. I reached the surface, sucked in a big lung full of air. I literally couldn’t move my arms. I’ve never felt so vulnerable. I scrambled onto my board and kicked towards our boat which was still 100 meters away. I tried to shout to my friend who was shooting photos in the water maybe 50 meters away, but my voice was weak and he was wearing a helmet (and earplugs) and no one noticed my situation. I knew that if another wave came I was in big trouble. Thankfully the ocean went completely flat and I drifted with the current to our boat. The deckie didn’t notice that I was in trouble until I reached the boat and he had to pull me up the ladder.

Yesterday was a very good day. #surftrip pic @aliphoto_maldives #lifeatlohis

Good times under a grey sky yesterday #surftrip #50mm

A moment in the #ocean with @turiapitt and @amy_kotch yesterday at #lohis #maldives

Going right, in #blackandwhite

I hope I’m swimming under waves with her when I’m 80! Dodging a lip to the head with @amy_kotch and @moana_bikini yesterday at #lohis #lifeatlohis #spl #splits

The most inspirational person I have ever met. @turiapitt at #lohis yesterday. #lifeatlohis