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Taj, mid-rescue. Photo: Surfing WA/Nick Woolacott

Taj, mid-rescue. Photo: Surfing WA/Nick Woolacott


The Inertia

When Taj Burrow retired after 19 years of consistently being one of the best surfers on tour, everyone wondered what he was going to fill his time with. Turns out he’s filling it not only with being a new father, but being a hero, as well. On Friday afternoon in Yallingup, Taj rescued a 12-year-old girl at his junior surfing event, Taj’s Small Fries.

Chloe Campbell was in the water with Taj and a few other girls when a big set came through and snapped her leash. She raised her hand for help, and Taj realized the rescue ski wouldn’t be able to reach her. “The jet ski wasn’t able to get to where she was, but luckily I was right next to her and I could tell she was kind of panicking a little bit,” Taj told The Sunday Times. “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, of course, was frustrated but extremely grateful. “I was in tears back on the beach because I was very overwhelmed and frustrated,” she said. “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.”

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