South African bodyboarder sustains spinal shock injury at Donkey Bay

A South African bodyboarder, Stefan Dryer, escaped a near-death incident on Tuesday at the popular surfing spot, Donkey Bay.

Eyewitnesses reported Dryer go down hard on a set wave – thanks to the quick reaction by other surfers he was treated on scene and admitted to hospital. His condition is stable.
Initial reports indicated that Dryer sustained a spinal fracture when he went down head-first in the shallow water and smashed into the ground. X-Rays have revealed that he is in the clear. Medics suggested that he sustained a spinal shock injury when he hit the bottom, which may cause temporary paralysis. By Wednesday he was still in hospital, but he was able to move his legs. He left back home yesterday.
Only hours after the terrifying incident on Tuesday this week “Stab Magazine”, a men’s interest magazine with an emphasis on high-performance surfing, released a detailed report on what transpired. Many surfers, be they local or international, looked at Donkey Bay with new respect. Donkey Bay, internationally known as Skeleton Bay, is regarded as one of the best surfing spots in the world – when the right conditions present themselves – but it is also has some of the most challenging waves to surf.
According to “Stab Magazine” it was Hawaiian surfer Eli Olsen who saw Dryer, a bodyboarder from Cape Town, crash on a wave. “”I saw this bodyboarder go down hard on a set wave,” Olsen said. “He was getting a solid barrel, really deep but then it ran away from him. It was really gnarly and shallow this morning (Tuesday) too which was scary,” Olsen continued.
He paddled over to Dryer and saw blood pouring over his face. “I rolled him over and found he was conscious but at that point, paralysed,” Olsen said. He called other surfers and together they moved Dryer to the beach, where they laid him down slowly and braced his neck and head with sand. By mere chance travelling UK surfer and ER doctor Callum Swift and his brother were on scene that day.
Dr. Swift did a basic trauma check and determined that Dryer sustained a head injury with a possible neck injury. Shortly afterwards paramedics from E-Med 24 arrived on scene and transported Dryer to the Medic Clinic Hospital in Swakopmund. X-Rays were conducted the same day, but no fracture could be determined, suggesting that he sustained a spinal shock injury.
Dryer flew back to Cape Town yesterday. It was his first time surfing at Donkey Bay.

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