Surfer pays tribute to Agnes drowning victim

AN Agnes Water man who witnessed the tragic drowning of another surfer off main beach on Tuesday has broken his silence on the incident.

Jay Bester-Sandham was surfing off the point on the afternoon 70-year-old South Australian Ned Deboar lost his life while surfing.

Mr Bester-Sandham, who had recently moved to Agnes Water, said he was unhappy with the media coverage which Mr Deboar's tragic death received.

"The guy deserves more from what I have seen," Mr Bester-Sandham said.

Mr Bester-Sandham said he was surfing for the first time since moving to Agnes Water when Mr Deboar, already surfing, greeted him with a "really nice smile".

Mr Bester-Sandham said a short time after watching Mr Deboar catch a nice wave and offer a "shakka" to onlookers, surfers spotted his board floating in the water.

"The board was lying on top of the water and he wasn't on his board," he said.

"I remember one guy shout 'hey, are you okay?' or something like that as he was floating deeper into the sea."

Multiple surfers immediately leapt into action and brought the unconscious Mr Deboar to the shore via a ride in on a surfboard.

"Your adrenaline is pumping at that stage and it all feels a little bit surreal, but you aren't feeling any emotions at that point, you are trying to get paramedics and do CPR," Mr Bester-Sandham said.

Following Mr Deboar being pronounced dead at the scene after copious amounts of CPR from his initial rescuers and then paramedics, Mr Bester-Sandham had to pay his respects.

"I just felt like I needed to give this guy some respect and grab a wave for him, just do something," he said.
"I felt we had just witnessed the passing of a legend who was surfing in his 70s."



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