In a 4m swell at Yallingup on Friday, retired surfing pro Taj Burrow rescued 12-year-old Gwelup grommet Chloe Campbell, who got into trouble after her leg rope snapped during her under-14 heat in Burrow’s junior competition, Taj’s Small Fries.
Yesterday, the Yallingup surf legend played down his part, describing it as nothing special. Burrow said he was out in the water with the girls to give them help and encouragement in the “testing” conditions and was glad he was in the right place at the right time when a big set of waves came through and Chloe raised her hand for help.
“The jetski wasn’t able to get to where she (Chloe) was, but luckily I was right next to her and I could tell she was kind of panicking a little but. So I just gave her my surfboard. She said ‘Thank you so much’, grabbed it and caught it to the beach, I did what anyone would have done.”
Chloe said she had a great story to tell her friends and was already a fan of Burrow before, but now looked up to him even more.
She recalled how the huge set of waves “smashed” her, caused her leg rope to snap and in no time Burrow was there asking if she was OK.
“I was in tears (back on the beach) because I was very overwhelmed and frustrated, so I just said, ‘Thank you for saving me’. He said, ‘Nah, it’s all good’, and gave me a pat on the back. I’m a big fan. He really helped me out and he’s just a great person, very nice,” she said.