Today as I stepped out of the tumultuous waves onto the calm of the beach, a friend conveyed to me the sad news from this morning of two brothers who lost their lives while surfing in the nearby town of Zarautz. The men from Pamplona-Iruña came to the popular surfing spot, known for its unique long sandy beach as many Gipuzkoa surf sports are rock reefs with narrow entry and exit points. In photographs I caught of Zarautz beach only two days ago, you can see a paddle boarder catching the thundering autumn swell.
As a surfer I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of the two brothers.
Local reports hold that one of the brothers lost his board and was struggling in the 2 meter waves, so the other brother attempted to rescue him. Two local surf school teachers brought the unconscious brothers in to shore, and emergency services attempted to resuscitate them.
The attempt of one brother saving the other reminds me of Hawaiian Eddie Aikau, life guard and big wave rider. Eddie lost his life paddling towards the coast seeking help after he and his friends’ canoe developed a leak and capsized 19 km off the island of Molokai. Eddie had removed his life jacket as it hindered his paddling.
Eddie and this one brother laying down their lives for others reminds me of Jesus’ words:
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Photos & Words by Jonathan McCallum (Photos captured 3 October 2014)