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There’s always a big risk you take when you jump on a plane and trade the comfort of your own home for an adventure into the unknown. As wonderful and enlightening as traveling can be, it can also be really shitty. Such was the case a few days ago when American surf photographer Rick Briggs was attacked and robbed by a few thugs welding a machete.

The incident occurred at Lance’s Left in the Chacocente zone of Nicaragua, where Briggs had been posted up, shooting an epic run of classic Central American swell. Armed with machetes and dressed in camouflage and orange hunting gear, three men approached Briggs from behind, demanding he lies still while they rummaged through his valuables.

“I was laying prone with my back against the tree-line, trying to get that lean-in foreground for the artistic shot, when three of them came out of nowhere,” Briggs told Surfline. “At first, I thought it was my buddies playing a joke on me, because they didn’t have a lot of weight and weren’t applying that much pressure. Once I realized what was going on, I dropped my camera, tried to grab one guy’s ankle with that hand while yanking my backpack with the other, and that’s when the third guy jumped on top of me — one machete held to my face and another on my wrist while I was pinned to the ground. Then I just went limp.”

Briggs escaped the incident unscathed, but they made off with some very expensive photography gear. His decision to not fight back while the thieves stole his valuable belongings perhaps saved his life. He urges all travelers who face similar encounters to do the same. Although he was not harmed, Rick lost a few thousand dollars worth of gear and his primary source of income. Rick has since set up a gofundme page, and he’s reaching out to surf community for help. Let’s get Rick back to doing what he loves most.

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