Surf rage makes waves on Twitter

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By Caryn Dolley

Cape Town - A surf rage incident on the West Coast has made waves online with a number of surfers taking sides and trying to pinpoint who was at fault.

The incident took place on December 30, but came to light a few days ago when photographs of it surfaced.

A post of the “near-drowning” with photographs was put up on the surf website Wavescape last week.

“An anonymous reader sent in these photos showing a surfer gripping another in a neck lock and repeatedly dunking him in the water until he was on the verge of passing out,” the post said.

It said the surfer being forced under water “could easily have died” and another surfer had intervened.

The Cape Times has the name of the alleged victim, who declined to comment, and that of the alleged attacker, who despite repeated attempts could not be reached on Sunday.

Comments made it onto Twitter, with one surfer wondering if disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong or the surfer was more hated.

In a phone interview with the Cape Times on Sunday, a surfer said the same man had targeted him in an earlier incident, threatened to kill his family and burn down his home.

Scores of people commented on the sequence of photographs on Wavescape, several saying they had also been targeted.

One user, “Legal”, said: “Press charges. It’s your duty. To yourself and to others.”

Another, James Theo Pearson, disagreed and wrote: “I am appalled at the bad publicity and reporting on this issue.”

Of the photos, he said, “This was obviously done with malice as the incident started with the other guy being the first to attack the bald guy.”

Other surfers said the incident appeared to be a case of “localism” - when locals surf in their usual spots and get upset when people come in from other areas to surf at the same spot.

caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

Cape Times

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