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Dean Morrison's Ordeal at Sea

Dean Morrison's Ordeal at Sea

So what does a pro surfer get up to when he has an enforced 3 month lay-up following a hip operation? You grab a bunch of your craziest mates, buy a new boat, fill it up with fishing tackle and cases of beer, tow the whole act 2,000kms north and head out into the wild blue yonder. Dean Morrison's fishing vacation with Dean & Sean Harrington, Paul Fisher and another young madman was always a disaster waiting to happen, but little did any of them realize it would be over before the first day was out.

After failing to catch a solitary fish, Dingo put one of the Hazza's in charge of the outboard engine, while rest of the gang sipped on a couple cool ones as the sun was setting in the west. They were miles from land, there was not another vessel on the horizon, they were completely alone as nightfall approached. Hazza of course was skylarking, running the boat at full throttle. The boys all gripped their tinnies and piled down the tail-end of the boat to avoid the spray that was being whipped up by the boat as it bounced flat-chat across the sea.

For a real laugh, Hazza spontaneously down throttled to zero, the wake overtook the boat, flooded it, and it sank within 10 seconds. Suddenly, the boys were in the deep blue, still holding their beer cans, and before the realization that they were in a life threatening situation, Paul Fisher was diving for his SIM card. But alas, the phones had gone with the boat and the gear to Davey Jones' locker.

The boys swam 5 kilometres to an island, separating on the way and dragging themselves up on the beach in the pitch black. To their dismay, the casataways discovered that the only inhabitants of the island were big, venomous black snakes. The boys, dressed only in their boardshorts, huddled together for warmth. It was like Gilligan's Island, except there was no captain, no professor, just five Gilligans. In the morning they walked around the island and when Dean accidentally kicked an 8 foot black snake, which reared up, they went screaming back into the water.

And that was the plan, just run screaming into the surf and start swimming for another island. What they did not know was that this stretch of water is infested with big crocs and big tiger sharks, as well as deadly box jelly fish and strong currents. They somehow avoided all these predators, however the current got them and once again they split up and swam across the current to another distant island.

On reaching this island they regrouped, estimating that it had been a 15 km swim. They were dehydrated and in full realization that they were lucky to be amongst the living. They found a couple swimming and raised the alarm. Soon the police and Volunteer Marine Reserve turned up. They called the boys the "Walking Ghosts", because they just should not have survived. They soon learned that all swimming had been banned in the area due to an agressive 15' crocodile that had been terrorizing lately.

And that's how Deano Morrison wiled away the time as his hip rehabbed. Oh yeah, he was the weak link - the hip was not up for a marathon swim leg and he lagged behind the group. It was a close call and he is looking forward to going back to more mundane activities, such as ping in at Pipe.