Rebelsessions through the lens: Dead Man Walking – Seth Pieret

 

DEAD MAN WALKING (Seth Pieret profile)

“It was the 6th of August 2015 and a high period swell was pounding Sunset reef. It was super crowded.” Says Seth. “I was amped and paddled out to join the other guys from my crew. We call ourselves ‘The B-Team’ (laughs.)We’ve been friends since school days. I had to pull out of a few waves because there were guys on my inside. When I finally got one, I had to straighten out on it because, it shut down. I was getting more and more angry and frustrated. I decided to move to the inside for what I thought would be an easy little insider. That was my first mistake.”

He goes silent for a few seconds, as if preparing to relive the horrible ordeal all over again. His voice wavers slightly as he continues. “That wave doubled up.” He goes silent again. “As I stood up I realised that my board and I weren’t going to fit into the wave. I tried to knife-in at a sharp angle, but I lost my fins.” His voice wavers again. “I free-fell with the lip, instinctively lifting my hand to try and protect myself. But that act of lifting my arm....exposed my ribs to the whole force of the wave. That wave drove me very deep. I could feel an intense burning sensation in my ribs. I couldn’t move my arm anymore. “He goes silent again for a few seconds. “I think Sammy got to me first. Greg, Paris and Roddy were there soon afterwards. I grabbed one of their leashes so they could tow me to shore. I was rushed straight to hospital. My ribs had been pushed through their cartilage and popped out. That pushed my sternum into....my heart and lungs. (He sighs a few heavy sighs.)It caused internal bleeding. A litre and a half of fluid and blood quickly accumulated between my lungs and rib cage, which put a huge amount of pressure on my heart and made breathing extremely difficult.”

He stops talking for a while, struggling with the memory of it all. “I hope this information and my wipe out helps those new youngsters to surf better and enjoy the ocean....and be safe. I’m really lucky that my ‘B-team crew’ were there looking out for me that day. When we paddle out, we always formulate a game plan. That way, it’s easier to keep an eye on each other. We all have a working understanding of CPR and knowledge of basic first aid.” He smiles. His eyes sparkling once again with humour. “I’d say I’m the least skilled of our crew. Paris and Richard are crazy-good surfers. They push each other the whole time. I feel lucky to be able to learn from those guys. John Farrel is the wise-man of the group, he’s ‘the surfers-surfer.’ He’s the one who told me I should have pin dropped. I haven’t had to use my new hard-won wisdom yet, but I’m sure the day will come again when I’m stuck at the top and this time, I’ll PIN DROP!”

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