Earlier this week the a giant swell hit Western Europe and yesterday, after just missing out on making the cut for the WSL Nazaré comp, British charger Tom Lowe headed for Mullaghmore in Ireland to paddle into some bombs.
Despite being a seasoned vet out at the Irish reef, Lowey’s session almost ended in disaster, after he got the wind knocked out of him on a heavy wipeout. Earlier today he posted an account of exactly what went down on his instagram, here’s what he had to say:
“Having hardly processed what went down yesterday I still felt the need to post something before anybody else does. Firstly to give a big shoutout to @pedro2468 and @sligokayaktours for rescuing me, to let my friends and family know I’m all good and to stress the importance in covering as many safety angles as possible when in heavy surf. I for one have paddled with no support many times, that is now going to stop.”
“Yesterday was a big reality check when I fell on a wave at Mullaghmore, the impact knocking the air out my lungs and I couldn’t feel my arms to inflate, a hold-down followed. Swallowing water I was in a bad place, never been so scared. I surfaced for a split second but couldn’t breath and the next one rolled over. I was out of it, like freedive training when you briefly blackout. If not for my impact suit I wouldn’t have surfaced in time. Barry and Pete were straight on me with ski support, Pete got me on the sled where it took a while before I could breath property. Next thing I’m sitting there with Santa administering oxygen and @noahlane_ getting the shot. Again, I feel very grateful for such good friends to watch over me 🙏 For those out there chasing these wild swells; train hard, stay healthy, prepare, wear your vests at all times, look out for your fellow surfers and most importantly – organize safety 🙌”
Although the post has only been up an hour, Lowey has already received an outpouring of love and support from fellow big wave chargers and the wider community, which (along with his rescuers Santa hat) is filling us with all sorts of warmth this holiday season. Merry Christmas.