“He Was Not Breathing and He Was Blue”: Big Wave Surfer Faced a Parent’s Worst Nightmare Watching His Son Wiped Out

Published 04/01/2023, 1:56 PM EDT

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Among the most dangerous surf locations in the world, ranks Shipstern Bluff, where big wave surfer, James Hollmer-Cross almost lost his 19-year-old son. The Tasmanian southeastern coast hosts some of the biggest waves. Hence, it attracts surfers from all over the world. Likewise, Cross and his son, Harry were out on a surfing session this week, when he saw the latter get wiped out by a dreadful wave.  

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In a recent publication by ABC News, the athlete elucidated his entire horrific encounter. Fortunately, he saved his son through his expertise in the sport. Nevertheless, in lieu of the grave injuries, Harry has a long way to full recovery. Undoubtedly, it left a traumatic impression on the father as well. 

James Hollmer-Cross rescued his own son

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According to the article by ABC News, Cross watched his son catch big waves at the iconic Tasmanian spot, last Sunday. Moments later, he caught Harry getting wiped out by a massive wave. He hit the reef and floated right back up to the surface, unconscious. Not wasting a second, Cross dashed towards him and flipped him over. “He was not breathing and he was blue”, said Cross

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He gave his son emergency CPR and fortunately, it worked. “As soon as I got the breaths in, I knew straight away that his body was reacting to that,” he recalled. Additionally, Cross was assisted by a some people on the shore. They pulled a boat alongside the father-son duo and dragged them onboard. After several bouts of CPR, Harry’s body reacted by puking water. Reflecting on the instance, Cross said, “That’s the scariest thing, I think … basically you’re bringing them back, aren’t you? They’ve crossed over for a little bit there.”

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Harry sustained a concussion, a displaced shoulder, and even injured his ear. But above all that, he was breathing! Despite the long recovery he shall have to undergo from there on, Cross was relieved that his son was alive. “It’s your worst nightmare, especially as a parent. I’m just thankful I was there,” the surfer admitted. Hence, he set up a GoFundMe page to gather funds for rehab and medical expenses.

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Hollmer-Cross’s surfing journey hasn’t been devoid of intense injuries. Regardless, he rose back up and chose to surf again. Imparting the same wisdom in his son, he intends to teach him his unbending determination soon after he recovers fully. 

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Written by:

Tiyasa Biswas

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One take at a time

Tiyasa is a US Sports author for Essentially Sports. She charts her journey in the sporting world right from her childhood. A basketball player all through her high school and college days, Tiyasa looks up to Michael Jordan as her idol, and reveres the Mamba Mindset.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh

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