Should’ve listened to the dude who told you to surf Bellsâ€¦
As reported on www.news.com.au
Former tennis ace Mark Philippoussis has cheated death while surfing in wild seas off Victoria’s southwest coast.
The Scud was surfing off Bells Beach when he got into trouble in the turbulent waters before being dragged into a sea cave while his board was smashed in half, Channel 9 said tonight.
Philippoussis’ ordeal began when he paddled out of Winki Pop beach, between Bells Beach and Torquay, on the Surf Coast, southwest of Melbourne, this morning.
Witnesses told the Nine the former top 10 player suffered hip and feet injuries after being swept into the area known as The Valley, while being battered by huge waves.
Witness Steve Ryan said he told Philippoussis not to surf out of Winki but to head closer to Bells Beach.
“I said, ‘Ah mate, I wouldn’t be going there because the sweep is really strong. Go up the stairs, down to Bells Beach, go a little bit up the beach then paddle out’ and said be careful,” Mr Ryan told Nine.
“He nearly got taken out by a big set … which was really dangerous.”
Philippoussis’ girlfriend was nearby and was alerted to the problem, Nine said.
Mr Ryan said the conditions were treacherous and Philippoussis was slightly injured.
“He got swept down, broke his board and took refuge in a cave for, like, two hours, had all his feet up and he hurt his hip,” he added.
Tonight, the Scud was reportedly recovering at his parents’ home in Williamstown, in Melbourne’s west.
His mother said Philippoussis was doing okay after his ordeal, Nine reported.
Philippoussis’ agent Rob Aivatoglou said tonight the Scud had gone to Bells Beach with a friend and was surfing alone when he ran into trouble.
Mr Aivatoglou said that after spending time sheltering in The Valley, Philippoussis had to exit the cave via the sea again in order to get safely back onto land.
“I know the cave played a part in his safe return, as he was able to take shelter initially,” Mr Aivatoglou said.
“He’s just happy that he’s safe and sound and that everything turned out well.”