Video of surfers' boat being dumped goes viral

By Michael Neilson from Gisborne Herald

A video of a boat being rolled by a solid set of waves off Tuamotu Island has gone viral, gaining several million views over the last few days.

Dean Foote was filming his friends surfing the renowned left-hand point break when a "freak set" of large waves broke in the channel, capsizing a boat with resting surfers on board.

Mr Foote, a surfer and amateur photographer who lives in Napier but has previously lived in Gisborne, said he was initially in shock at what he had seen.

His only reaction was a one-liner, "That is a complete yard sale, man." Everything must go.

He said the saying comes from a term for a major skiing wipeout, and is just glad he did not say something stupid.

After posting the video to his Vimeo account and then to Facebook, it was soon picked by media outlets.

Over the next 48 hours it went completely viral, with popular surf-oriented Instagram accounts Kookslams and Shock Mansion sharing it.

Later Stabmag, Magicseaweed and The Intertia, each with hundreds of thousands of followers, shared it on their Facebook pages.

While the video has been cut across different formats, it currently has several million views, and counting.

After processing the accident, realising everybody was OK and helping collect some of the debris, Mr Foote realised he had something special.

"I was pretty excited to show all of the boys," he said.

His mates recommended he package it to get the most views but instead he put up five minutes of his mates surfing with the boat clip right at the end.

He said most publications neglected to ask his permission to share and cut the clip.

He is a little dissapointed he was not smarter about it and said it was a lesson in internet privacy and how quickly things can spread.

He said it is has been "crack-up" reading some of the online comments, and putting his mates' surfing skills under global scrutiny.

Gisborne surfer Teddy Colbert was the humble star of the video.

He and his mates had been surfing further around the island, and were resting up before heading back out.

He said the ocean had gone flat for 15 minutes, before a huge set approached.

"We got over the first one, but the second one smashed us."

He was still on their 3.5 metre aluminium pontoon boat when the wave struck, before getting trapped under as it capsized.

"I was getting smashed around under the boat. I was thinking 'don't knock yourself out and die here'."

Somehow he was still on the boat when it flipped back up, though he has little memory.

"It all happened so fast."

He then tumbled off the boat as the second wave hit.

He suffered a big gash in his head and leg, but apart from a few other bruises, he was alright.

Fellow surfer Troy Conole had just arrived in his boat when the carnage began.

He said the boat was resting in the channel where surfers normally leave their boats, yet was simply unlucky.

They towed the boat out of the impact zone after the set had passed.

One longboard snapped after it crashed into the rocks, but they managed to recover most of the gear and even got the boat started not long after.

The boat was anchored at the time but was ripped out with the force of the wave.

If it had not been anchored it could have ended up in a similar fate to their boards, Mr Colbert said.

He is not fazed at all about the global fame, and in all he said it was a "cool experience".

"We were hooting that we were alive."

And has it scared the surfer with nearly 40 years experience?

"Not at all. We can not wait to get back out there."

- Gisborne Herald

- NZ Herald

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