Surfer’s Unwritten Duty in the Sea: It’s Normal to Help Someone in the Water When they are in Trouble

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The inclusion of surfing in the recent 30th SEA Games made headlines after that heroic effort of SEA Games Gold Medalist for Surfing Roger Casugay in assisting fellow surfer from Indonesia Arip “Mencos” Nurhidayat who snapped his leash and lost his board during their epic heat.

If you are a surfer, it is normal to help out someone in the water when they are in trouble. Your surfboard can be a tool to save someone from drowning. Surfers in La Union and other surf spots have saved tourists, fellow surfers, and swimmers from drowning. It’s an unwritten duty of surfers.

The drowning incident last year. The victim was saved by surfers in La Union. Video courtesy of Jzent Espiritu

When we asked Roger about his experience he said, “Hindi naman siya nalulunod eh, nagflofloat siya, pero sinusubukan niyang makabalik sa shore line pero hindi siya makabalik kasi nga malakas yung current. Tapos nung nakakuha ako ng pang 4th wave ko, in- announce na “ Roger can you get Mencos?” Kasi nga lumalayo na siya so pinuntahan ko siya. Hindi siya nalulunod, nagfofloat siya pero alam ko hindi napapagod na din siya sigurado kasi sinusubukan niyang bumalik sa shore pero hindi siya makabalik kasi sobrang lakas yung current.”

“Yun nga, ang ginawa ko na lang is parang i-accompany na lang si Mencos kasi yung mga tao is di na alam ang gagawin, yung mga marshalls di rin makalusong kasi sobrang lakas nung alon. Normal na alng na tumulong kung ganun. Kung may nalulunod nga jan sa tapat namin kami lang din naman ang tumutulong eh, wala namang iba.”

John Carby, the official host, and commentator of the SEA Games surfing competition also shared his insights about the incident in a comment on Facebook.

Here’s the official statement from Roger Casugay together with his good friend Mencos.