Heather Clark – South African Surfer

I don’t normally update twice in one day but this one’s important. I’ve just been reading Mick Fanning’s blog post about South African Surfer Heather Clark’s car accident last week and it has inspired me to take action.

I joined the support group on Facebook as soon as I heard about it but, other than making a donation, I didn’t think there was much I could do. Mick’s post about auctioning one of his surfboards gave me an idea. I could donate the profits from Sanchin.

Before Tiaan and I were married he had to have his spleen removed following a surfing accident.  Thankfully he had medical aid and good insurance which covered most of the costs or it would have been a devastating financial blow.

Heather will be unable to surf or work for quite some time and, with no medical aid, her hospital bills are going to be huge. The international surfing community is pulling together to raise funds to help pay those bills.

Despite Tiaan”s best efforts to teach me, I’m still a lousy surfer but I  love it and I’d like to do something to help.

I’ve put up a page with links to Sanchin on both the UK and US Amazon sites. All the profits made through these two links between now and the end of November will go to the fund that has been set up to help Heather. These are my Amazon affiliate links and the commission will go to the fund too.

I know it won’t be much. I’m not exactly Wilbur Smith and I don’t make a lot in royalties but it will be UK Pounds which, when converted to SA Rands, will hopefully help a bit.

So, please click here to support Heather.

For the surfers who follow my blog ( I know there are at least 2 of you) or anyone else interested in making a direct donation, Surfing South Africa have set up a bank account. The details are as follows:

FNB RONDEBOSCH (branch code 201509)
SAVINGS ACCOUNT : 61017128590
Ref : Heather plus Contributors name & email address

Or you can make a donation via PayPal on the Jetty Girl website. They’re at around the $1600 mark at the moment and will be sending the money in on Nov 1st.

Thanks to anyone who feels they can help.

7 thoughts on “Heather Clark – South African Surfer”

  1. Mark van Rensburg says:

    Cool, I’ll point people to the site. Have you posted this on the FB group?

  2. Karen says:

    Hi Sparky. Thanks a lot.

    I’m not sure how successful this will be. It would have been better if I’d already finished the surfing related novel that’s still buried on my old word processor.

    No, I haven’t posted to the FB group. I figure most people on there will have donated through other avenues and probably won’t be interested in a novel about karate anyway.

  3. Mark van Rensburg says:

    Good point, I never thought about that. Sanchin does have a surfing scene though 😉

  4. Aloha!

    My name is Dr. Kai Swigart, and I am the Kauai psychologist who helped surfer Bethany Hamilton get back on her feet again after the shark attack (See USA TODAY article below). I would like to offer my assistance to Heather, at no cost, if she needs it.

    Heather, and any other effected friends, family members, or involved parties; may benefit from a critical incident stress debriefing, to prevent the development of post traumatic stress disorder; and some follow-up coaching. This is one of my specialties, and I have done a lot of work with surfers, paddlers, and stuff.

    I am also the singer-song writer/recording artist “Fire Prince,” and could offer my collection “Blessing In Disguise,” which was dedicated to Bethany Hamilton, and features her singing background vocals with me; as part of a fund raiser. We could either offer the individual track “Blessing In Disguise,” or the entire collection of 15 tracks; and you could sell as digital downloads to support Heather’s cause. Please visit my artist site, http://www.fireprince.com and check out the “Blessing In Disguise” collection. It is also available at iTunes, if you’d rather check it out there.

    Here’s the USA TODAY article …

    “Psychologist helps victim, friends and family move on

    By Jill Lieber, USA TODAY

    Since the shark attack on Halloween, Kai Swigart, a Kauai psychologist, has devoted 200 hours to Bethany Hamilton, her family, her friends and her colleagues on the Hanalei Girls Surf Team to prevent the development of post-traumatic stress disorder.
    “It is important to get the feelings from the inside to the outside,” says Swigart, who offered these services to the Kauai community in his role as a provider of faith-based Christian support. He opened and closed each debriefing with a prayer, as he noted, “It is helpful to involve the source of true healing whenever possible.”
    Kim Brady, a mother of two daughters who train with Hamilton on the Hanalei Girls Surf Team, says the debriefing sessions were crucial to getting Kauai’s young surfers back into the water after the incident.
    “For a couple of weeks, the kids were afraid to surf,” Brady says. “The ocean is their playground, and nobody wanted to go out and play. We had to get them to understand that the shark attack was a fluke, that there was no explanation or reason we could give them. We had to get them to focus on the fact that Bethany was alive, that she’s our friend and that we’re one big ohana (family).”
    Swigart’s debriefing has seven phases:
    Set the tone
    Debriefing leader introduces the process and creates expectations of success. “This is where the leader gently prepares participants for the process they are about to experience,” Swigart says.
    Fact phase
    Each participant describes the crisis event from his or her perspective on a cognitive (thought-based not feeling-based) level.
    Questions include:
    Who are you? What happened? What was your role in the incident? What is your relationship to the victim? How did you learn from the incident?
    “This helps break the ice, in a pretty safe way, and begins to complete the puzzle for many who experienced only a piece of the event,” he says. “People really need to tell their story, it is bursting to come out, and this gives them the chance.”

    Thought phase
    Each participant describes his or her cognitive reactions, then transitions to emotional reactions.
    Two questions generally asked:
    What were some of your thoughts when you experienced or learned of the crisis event? Since you first dealt with the incident, what thoughts have you had about how this event might effect you?
    “This often opens the floodgates, creates camaraderie and support among those participating, and promotes the much-needed release,” he says.
    Reaction phase
    Each participant describes the worst part of the crisis event.
    Questions and statements include:
    What was the worst thing about it for you? Describe your physical reactions and feelings since the crisis event. If you could miraculously erase one of your thoughts or images of the crisis event, what would it be?
    “This helps people continue processing their feelings, and focus more specifically on what has impacted them the most,” he says.
    Symptom phase
    Each participant identifies signs or symptoms of distress encountered during or after the crisis event. The debriefing leader begins transitioning participants back to a more cognitive level, reviews common symptoms and processes questions/statements.
    Teaching phase
    The debriefing leader educates participants regarding typical reactions, introduces coping strategies and transitions participants further from emotions.
    The debriefing leader prepares for the end of the meeting, summarizes experiences, clarifies questions and offers follow-up services, support and referrals.”

    So, please let me know how I can help, and, if needed, I can do the debriefings/therapeutic support by phone, since I am in Hawaii.

    My cell number is (808) 987-7070, and main office number (808) 961-9999.

    Please pass this offer on to Heather.

    Much aloha,
    Dr. Kai Swigart

  5. Karen says:

    Hello Dr Kai,

    Thank you so much. It’s wonderful to see so many people offering to help Heather. I will pass your details on.



  6. Emil says:

    This is a wonderful initiative of yours. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I have completely missed it in the media.

  7. Karen says:

    Thanks, Emil. I heard the news from a friend on Facebook. I’m a lousy surfer but I still love it. Heather has always been an inspiration to me and I just wanted to give something back.

Comments are closed.