Mark Morlock almost lost his eye after allegedly being attacked by an enraged surfer, according to reports from Australia’s Courier-Mail.
Morlock, 41, was surfing the popular Australian surf break Snapper Rocks last Tuesday when he was approached by a man who he had accidentally cut off while surfing about five months earlier. According to Morlock, the attacker approached him from behind and asked if he remembered who he was.
“I said, ‘Yeah I remember you, what do you want?'” Morlock recalled. “Then he let his board go from between his legs, straight into my face. He said, ‘You’re not laughing now, are you mate?'”
The surfboard struck Morlock in his eye, leaving it severely damaged. Morlock was able to make his way back to shore, where he received first-aid from a lifeguard.
“Within six seconds of him announcing his presence, he’d done this horrible trick that only a surfer knows, but one I thought would never happen to me,” Morlock said of the attack. “It was the most brutal, cowardly thing I’ve ever seen.”
But the altercation didn’t end there. Morlock said that while he waited to be taken to a hospital, the aggressive surfer approached him again, egging him on to continue the fight. “He was hiding in some bushes and came bolting down the stairs wanting to carry it on with my eye almost hanging out of my head,” Morlock said.
Morlock was eventually taken to Gold Coast University Hospital, where he went through 12 hours of microsurgery. He will reportedly not lose sight in the damaged eye.
As one of Australia’s most crowded surf breaks, Snapper Rocks is no stranger to this type of aggressive behavior in the lineup — also known as “surf rage.” In early 2012, Australian police began to patrol popular surf breaks — including Snapper Rocks — in order to prevent altercations between surfers.
Morlock does not plan to press charges against his attacker, although it is believed that “a horrified witness” has reported the incident.
Morlock told Perth Now News that he only wants the man who stabbed him to seek help for anger-management issues.