Teacher and sportsmen Peter Luke of Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, died while surfing this Tuesday in Indonesia. Police reported that Luke, 27, went missing after paddling 16 to 17 foot (~5 meter) waves at Scar Reef off Jelenga Beach in West Sumbawa. Two friends found his body on a nearby reef after heading out on a search for their lost companion in the boat they had hired to transport them to the reef.
“The victim’s death was caused by a wave smashing into him, which at that time was massive, up to five metres high,” West Sumbawa police chief Teddy Hendyawan Syarif told The Standard. In fact, this was the biggest swell to hit Indonesia and Western Australia this year.
Luke was a member of the Warrnambool’s local surf life saving club, starting as a Nipper (5 to 13 years of age). He was also a strong soccer player, and founding member of the local Wolves soccer club.
While his Facebook page is kept mostly private, there was an outpouring of grief among social media platforms for the Victorian most remembered as “legend” and “absolute ripper.” Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family and friends.