Up at the strip this weekend was the 47th running of the East Coast Surfing Championships- the ECSC. The ECSC is North America’s oldest running surfing competition and the second oldest continuously run surfing contest in the world.
I have no clue where the oldest is run.
I just know that, if you are into surfing, and who isn’t into surfing?, this is a big, big weekend. Hundreds of professional and amateur surfers converge on VB to compete in our typically smallish surf.
But not this weekend. With Tropical Storm Danny surging up the coast the swell has been amazing and everybody, surfers and spectators alike, have been diggin’ it.
Everybody, that is, except one.
On Friday morning, the first day of competition, a tourist was knocked out of his boat by an eight wave set and drowned even though approximately 50 surfers joined scores of EMT and rescue workers, responding to cries for help from the boat’s operator, rushed to the spot he went into the water and searched for the man.
His body wasn’t found for over two hours.
The sobering point of this post isn’t that amid the fun of a surfing competition someone lost their life. It’s that it happened that quickly. That someone, who just minutes before had climbed aboard a boat excited about a day on the water, who just hours before had awoken and eaten some breakfast getting ready for a day on the water, who just days before had driven from his home in New York to Virginia Beach to vacation and spend a day on the water, that that someone had instead lost his life.
We all know about the fateful fragility of life but something like this really drives the point home.
Celebrate each day. Go and do. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Take a big bite of life and chew vigorously.
Now if only I’ll listen to me.