Surviving the worst nightmare

For the first time, a new book tells the story of the accident that put Darren ‘Daz’ Longbottom (owner of Zink Surf in Kiama) in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and his determination to make the most of it.

In a freak accident while surfing in Indonesia, Daz’s board came back under him as he flicked off the back of a wave, and he landed on it head first, breaking his neck and all but severing his spinal cord. Suddenly, the remote nature of their location turned from being a dream come true into a nightmare, as Daz began a long and difficult fight for his life.

Ten years on, Daz has teamed up with Gerringong-based journalist and writer Tim Rushby-Smith to write Beyond The Break, a compelling account of survival against the odds, the loyalty of friends and finding resilience in the face of unimaginable adversity.

“Even though it’s ten years later, I learned some details about my rescue for the first time as we were writing the book. My mate [Craig] Sparkes was a big help in telling the story.”

Tim, who is also in a wheelchair from an accident, describes the story as compelling. “There are so many elements. Firstly, it’s a survival race against time. Then there is the Longbottom family’s place in the history of surfing in the region.

“And perhaps strongest of all is the story of Daz’s determination to get home, to

resume his life and to be a father to his daughter Bowie.”

Beyond the Break, published by Penguin Random House, is available in The Bookshop Kiama, and other bookshops or as an eBook.

 

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