Ironman Wes Berg Breaks Neck At Burleigh

31 Dec 2015 1

Wes Berg surfing at Burleigh on New Year's Day, Photo by Craig Halstead

Wes Berg surfing at Burleigh on New Year's Day, Photo by Craig Halstead

The development of a low-pressure system along the southern flank of a monsoon, just south of New Caledonia, has brought with it a nice new year surprise for south-east Queensland and northern NSW residents. SEE SWELL ALERT; The swell has been welcomed by hungry, summer surfers who embrace cyclone season for it's irregular deliveries of superbank peelers. 

There isn't much to gripe about with these swells except the crowds, which can become a little unmanageable at times. SEE HOW TO SURF WITHOUT SURFING; But for legendary Ironman, coach and all-around incredible waterman, Wes Berg, not all went to plan for him in the surf today. Berg, 36, paddled out at Burleigh Point in great conditions, on the low tide and took off on a wave before landing on his head in shallow water. The landing left the experienced surfer and veteran ironman with a broken C4 & C5 of his vertebrae in his neck and a very close brush with near tragedy.

Berg said from hospital, "I'm extremely lucky and have feeling in my arms and legs and movement and mobility. Probably the scariest moment of my life not being able to feel or move my left arm for a while. Long road to recovery and in this collar for a couple months with restricted movement but not near as bad as some. Waiting for results of the MRI to know full extent. Super lucky and grateful."

It has been a rough day in Hawaii too, with World Surf League commentator Ross Williams also diving head-first into shallow reef whilst surfing with mates, Jack Johnson, Benji Weatherly, and Love Hodel at Haleiwa. Williams, also in hospital said, "I cracked my head open and nearly ripped a piece of my nose off. Thankfully the CT scan came back ok. I got 11 staples and will need plastic surgery."

Sending wishes and a speedy recovery to both guys. 

Wes Berg in good spirits in hospital

Wes Berg in good spirits in hospital

Ross Williams also spending the day in hospital today

Ross Williams also spending the day in hospital today

Tags: wes , berg , ironman , surfing , burleigh , topnews (create Alert from these tags)

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