Surfer breaks his leg in a ‘horrific’ accident after being ‘attacked’ by a seal

Surfer breaks his leg in a ‘horrific’ accident after being ‘attacked’ by a seal

Nathan Phillips, a self-employed builder and local surfing legend, suffered a horrific accident while surfing in Porthleven, Cornwall on Friday. Phillips, 42, was paddling out into the waves when he was attacked by a seal, which was pulling his board’s leash. As some epic waves crashed down on him, his board flew into his leg, snapping it clean in two.

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After being rescued by a friend and paddling half a mile back to land, Phillips was treated by medics but was unable to fit inside the smaller than usual replacement Cornwall Air Ambulance sent to pick him up. He suffered an open fracture that required a cocktail of antibiotics to treat after the wound was left in stinking water while waiting for an ambulance.

Phillips, originally from Wales but now living in Cornwall, spoke from his hospital bed about the accident. He said that he was paddling out and something started tugging on his leash. After working out that it was a seal and fending it off, a wave crashed down on him at a weird angle, sending his board flying into his shin. Phillips heard a sound that he thought was his board snapping but later realized that it was his shin when he felt his foot hitting the back of his leg. He screamed with pain, and his friend dragged him onto his board and told him to start paddling back to shore.

Phillips sat on the coast for around 40 minutes before being treated by medics. He then had to wait even longer in his friend’s van while waiting for an ambulance after he couldn’t fit in the air ambulance. Phillips is now awaiting surgery with his leg pinned by a metal frame.

Phillips’ friends Alec and Jason set up a GoFundMe page to help him maintain an income during his recovery. Several thousand pounds have been raised in just a few days, with donations flooding in from the UK surfing community. Phillips is also expecting the birth of his second child with his partner in the next five weeks, adding to the worry.

According to Alec, seals are a common sight in Cornwall, and they can be inquisitive and try to play or mess around with surfers. Phillips is known for his charitable work and made headlines in August 2021 when he donated surfboards to a young lad and his dad whose car caught fire on the A30.

You can donate to Nathan’s fundraiser here:
»Surfer breaks his leg in a ‘horrific’ accident after being ‘attacked’ by a seal«

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