Wollongong surfer Jae Haydon has died after surfing reportedly giant waves at a break off Bali, Indonesia.
The 35-year-old’s body was found 12 hours after a broken board washed up on Monday night near Padang Padang Beach in the tourist island’s south, his family confirmed on Tuesday morning.
His sister, Heidi Haydon, said in a text: “My mum and I are feeling the love from all and know that you would understand we would appreciate privacy at this time.”
A friend of Mr Haydon’s, Mark Brightwell, said the surfer’s board snapped after a wipeout.
He said two surfers tried to pull Mr Haydon onto another board and bring him to shore, but they reportedly lost him when another wave hit.
“Obviously in the 10-15-foot conditions the whitewash would have been powerful and obviously they weren’t able to maintain him on the board and lost him,” he said.
Mr Brightwell said his body was located at another surf break, Impossibles, which was further down the reef from Padang Padang.
The Impossibles break is a popular barrelling left-hander that is surfed by professionals, with competitions often held in the area.
However, it is a shallow reef break and is considered extremely dangerous when big swells hit.
Early reports suggested Mr Haydon’s body was brought in by lifeguards.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed it was providing consular assistance to Mr Haydon’s family.
‘Living life to the fullest’
Mr Brightwell described his friend as a passionate surfer, musician and traveller.
“He was in Bali doing a few gigs and in between gigs he would wander and surf and take it all in – living life to the fullest,” he said.
Tributes were flowing on social media after the 35-year-old’s death was confirmed on Tuesday morning.
“You were a mate, a neighbour, a fellow surfer, an entertainer and a life lover. A true inspiration. Your soul, music and presence touched thousands and will continue” friend Tate English said on Facebook.
NSW surfboard maker Dylan Perese posted a tribute on Instagram.
“He would always light up the room, stage, yard, whatever venue with the warmth and incredible tunes,” he said.
Mr Haydon was surfing near Uluwatu, a popular surf area on the holiday island and home to several resorts and breaks.
A GoFundMe page was set up by Mr Brightwell under the name Our Amazing Friend Jae Haydon to help raise the funds to bring his body back to Australia.