Second New Zealander drowned by trapped legrope

Nz broadcaster and surfer 60 year old Graeme Moody died in a “freakish” surf accident on Wednesday afternoon, after his leg rope was caught under rocks off the coast of Angourie Beach, Australia. It seems as if he was caught just off a launch rock.

A similar incident happened last year at Manu Bay Jump Rock when 62 year old John Noble was drowned due to his leg rope getting caught.

I am thinking that there are a number of similar factors, including being older and not so flexible, possibly not carrying some sort of cutting device, bad luck/mistiming. In terms of risk management, flexibility is something that can be relearnt but might not be put into practice, carrying a cutting device is possible but not likely because of the low percentage chance of it happening to you and it not being cool. Bad luck/mistiming is something that can be managed, IMHO. 

Consider what happens when you launch off a Jump Rock, your legrope is dragging across the bottom in a danger zone where it is most likely able to be caught on a rock

Please consider the following points:

  1. legrope accidents are happening in the jump zone-as per above
  2. If your legrope is shortened while you are walking it doesn't get caught or you don't trip up on it- we all know that
  3. If somehow, you had an attachment on you suit/boardshorts, say a small velcro'd holder. Then you could shorten up the legrope but it would break away on a small tug. There woud be two benefits, firstly, you could walk more easily and secondly, it would prevent all that length of legrope to drag in the ocean and possibly get hooked up on a rock. 
  4. When you are free of the rock zone, you can either break way the legrope from your waist or it may tear away when you standup.
  5. Or stuff the legrope under your body for the first few yards paddle, could be a safe practice to be promoted.
I wish I could I would draw what I am imagining, basically I am thinking of some sort of low capacity holder attached to your suit/boardshort hip area that prevents the whole of the legrope from trailing in the ocean while you are paddling out of the danger zone and also when walking. if you are are like me and sometimes attach their legrope twenty metres from the water, then proceed to trip and stumble.
Hopefully there is someone practical out there who can translate these ramblings into some sort of low cost low tech solution or start a harm reduction campaign to promote a variety of safe practices for surfing around rocks/reefs, especially in the launch area.
Regards and condolences to Mrs Moody,
MrT