Air France 447Air France Flight 447 was a scheduled flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

On 1 June 2009 the Airbus A330-203 aircraft serving the flight crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

All of the 216 passengers and 12 aircrew were killed.

Rommel and Emily at Severn boreSadly two of the many friends from all over the world that I have made through surfing were among the people on that flight. Jose & Isis were travelling between the two countries to spend some time with their families.

I knew Jose (or ‘Rommel’ as we knew him) through having spent so much time on the water with him. He was, by a long way, the best surfer I have ever been surfing with.

This picture was taken on the day we surfed the Severn Bore together back in the UK. As you can gather by the outfit the water in the UK was somewhat colder than Rommel was used to here in Brazil. It never stopped him going though.

Flower Spot 3At the time of the crash I was getting treated pretty awfully at work and was dealing with some painful things outside of work too, which did not allow me to grieve properly. Consequently the incidents of that week have remained a very raw subject for me, and I couldn’t visit Rio without paying my respect.

I found a quiet spot just around the headland from the Billabong Pro surf contest site and spent some time thinking about the people involved before tossing the roses I had bought into the waves below.

‘Via Con Dios’ my friends.





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