Brazilian Surfing Doctor Saves Gold Coast Man

As reported on

AMID allegations of a racial war in the surf between locals and international tourists, a Brazilian man has brought a 61-year-old Australian surfer back from the dead.

In what witnesses are calling an ‘amazing’ and ‘heroic’ act, 29-year-old doctor Marcelo Silva revived Coolangatta man Phil Woodcock three times in 20 minutes after he was found floating face down off Snapper Rocks.

Mr Woodcock last night was in a medically induced coma at Tweed Hospital and was in a stable condition.

Dr Silva said he was surfing at his favourite break, Snapper, on Saturday afternoon when he saw Mr Woodcock on a longboard struggling to make it through the 2m break.

Dr Silva, a medical practitioner in Brazil, said Mr Woodcock looked unwell and was fighting to remain conscious.

After catching a wave to where Mr Woodcock was last seen, Dr Silva found him floating face down next to his board.

Dr Silva, a Greenmount man named Justin and two other Brazilians paddled Mr Woodcock and his board to shore.

“When I got to him I checked and there was no pulse and no breathing. He was technically dead,” said Dr Silva.

“Once we got him on the beach, I just said to another guy. ‘Help me. I know what to do, I’m a doctor’.

“We started CPR and worked on him for 20 minutes until the ambulance arrived and I helped put a tube in his mouth to help him breathe easier.

“Everyone was scared because he didn’t look well.”

Mr Woodcock regained then lost his pulse and breathing three times during the 20 minutes and Dr Silva said he was prepared to keep working on him for ‘as long as I had to’.

“A lifeguard came in to help but I said it was OK because I know what I’m doing,” he said.

“I used to work in the intensive care unit in Brazil so I had to do this kind of thing all the time.

“I’m a doctor. This is what I do. I wouldn’t say I’m a hero.

“Everyone that was there just did their best and I’m glad I could help in whatever way that I could.”

Dr Silva said that after Mr Woodcock had been taken away in the ambulance, onlookers said ‘they just couldn’t believe what I’d done’.

“With all the stories that have been going around at the moment about local surfers and Brazilians, people were a little bit shocked that I had helped out,” he said.