Joel Parkinson nearly drowns on the Tweed Coast

January 23, 2014 | Surfing
Joel Parkinson: happy to be alive

Joel Parkinson almost drowned in one the first swells of the year, while surfing on the Tweed Coast, in Australia.

The 2012 ASP World Tour champion lived terrifying moments after being trapped underwater. Apparently, his surf leash became stuck on submerged rocks, and Parkinson couldn't get to the surface.

Fortunately, when the Australian was running out of oxygen, the leash pulled loose, and he was able to breathe up above.

"I couldn't get up. I only had about 10 seconds of air left. It scared the absolute bejesus out of me. I didn't think I was going to get back up. It was a close call. Finally the leash gave way", explains Parkinson.

The father of two children kept the scare a secret from his wife. "The only person I told was my dad". Parkinson did not reveal where he was surfing when the incident happened.