Search for mystery ‘hero’ who saved surfer’s life
GOLD Coast surfer and junior rugby prodigy Nate Searle is in intensive care after being pulled from under water on Tuesday afternoon by an unknown hero named Victor.
His dad Michael Searle, the Gold Coast Titans founder, is racing back from Hawaii to be by his son's side while he is in the intensive care unit.
It is believed Nate was knocked out by a surfboard and was unconscious in the water.
Mr Searle said a man in his 20s named Victor saved his son's life.
"Another bloke there was a nurse and said Victor pulled Nate off the bottom of the water," he said.
"Nate was on the bottom and unconscious for some time and Victor managed to locate him by his leg rope and got him up to his board.
"He brought him to the shore with the local lifeguards and helped them while the ambulances came."
IF YOU KNOW VICTOR OR SOMEONE WHO DOES, PLEASE CONTACT CAMPBELL.GELLIE@NEWS.COM.AU
Speaking to the Bulletin from Hawaii where Mr Searle was celebrating Gold Coast icon Joel Parkinson's last professional surfing event, he said he just wanted to get home quickly and thank Victor.
"I am so keen to meet him, it is hard to explain the gratitude you have for someone who saves your son's life," he said.
"If he wasn't we would be talking about a fatality.
"People have said Victor had an accent and was in his 20s."
A Gold Coast University Hospital spokeswoman said Nate was in a stable condition.
More than two years ago Nate was one of three Gold Coast surfers who saved another person's life in the water.
In 2016, Nate, Luca Stevenson and Mitchell Ellis pulled a 15-year-old boy out of the surf at J-Bay in South Africa.
The surfers saw people panicking on the headland and paddled in thinking it was a shark in the water.
They soon realised the alarm was over a near-drowning and they saw the boy disappear under the water.
The three Currumbin boys secured him to a board and paddled him into shore.