News

Byron Bay surfer Matt Scarff remains in coma after king hit

Matt Scarff. Photo Contributed
Matt Scarff. Photo Contributed Contributed

WELL-known Byron Bay surfer Matt Scarff remains in an induced coma after being king hit, then undergoing brain surgery in Bali and was expected to be airlifted from Bali to Royal Perth Hospital late last night.

Careflight director, Ian Badham told The Northern Star that the CareFlight doctor and nurse are flying the mission on the medi-jet based in Darwin for CareFlight International Air Ambulance.

The sister of Mr Scarff, Anna Scarff, is already in Bali and will accompany him and the medical team on the flight from Bali to Perth, Mr Badham said.

Donate to the Matt Scarff Fundraiser

Anna Scarff said Matt had received excellent treatment at Sanglah Hospital in Bali after he was punched by a stranger when he went to the aid of a woman outside a nightclub on Friday night and suffered a head injury.

"Matt will be taken to Perth as Darwin does not have the neurosurgical facilities needed," Mr Badham said.

The 41-year-old surfing instructor sustained major head injuries after he was hit outside the Townhouse Club in Seminyak, Bali, early Saturday morning.

Mr Scarff has undergone brain surgery to relieve a clot and pressure on his brain from the injury and the family were fundraising for ongoing medical costs. A crowd-funded campaign had raised more than $50,000 by yesterday afternoon.

Close friend of Mr Scarff's, Dougal Pennefeather of Byron Bay, said he had last seen Matt when he visited Mr Pennefeather's home in August.

Mr Pennefeather said his friend had been looking forward to a good tourism season ahead.

Matt Scarff, formerly of Byron Bay, was the victim of a king hit in Thailand. Photo Contributed
Matt Scarff, formerly of Byron Bay, was the victim of a king hit in Thailand. Photo Contributed Contributed

"He was just enjoying life," Mr Pennefeather said.

"He's been my best friend for 20 years. He used to run the Swell surf school in Byron Bay, and then he was the first to set up a surf school in Bali. He is a friendly guy, he attracts people to him.

"He takes orphans surfing and kids on camps. He helps people."

Mr Pennefeather said media reports about alcohol-fuelled violence leading to the injury didn't fit with what he knew of his friend.

"He's never been involved in anything like this before," he said.

Mr Pennefeather said criticism of Mr Scarff for not having travel insurance was also unwarranted: "He was living in Bali. Tell me, do you have travel insurance when you are living in Australia?"

As well as fundraising in Australia for Mr Scarff, Mr Pennefeather said Aussie ex-pats in Bali were also holding a fundraiser at the Cocoon restaurant in Legian, Bali.

Yesterday a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said officials from the Australian Consulate-General in Bali are providing consular assistance to Mr Scarff and his family, including providing advice on medical evacuation options.

"Our thoughts are with the 41-year old Australian man who was the victim of a serious assault in Bali on the evening of 15 November, and with his family," the spokesperson said.

"Such incidents serve as an unfortunate reminder of the potential hazards that Australians can face while overseas.

"It is particularly important that all Australians who travel or live overseas ensure they have appropriate insurance coverage."

Topics:  attack coma editors picks king hit



WIN a fishing trip, $5000 BCF voucher and get free stuff

Want to catch one of these big fellas!? Get your name into our competition to win the ultimate fishing holiday!

WERE running a stack of reely incredible giveaways!

Three news subscriptions and a free paper for $3 - saywhat?!

No Caption

FORGET everything you thought you knew about a great deal.

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

Local Partners

High achievers honoured at Australia Day Awards

FIFTEEN new citizens to be welcomed and 27 exceptional citizens and groups honoured.


What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

'More sick people will be jailed': Confusion over medical cannabis

There is ongoing confusion about the legalities surrounding medical cannabis.

Is it legal? Where can you get it? What are your rights?

This week's Northern Rivers markets list

CASINO: McAuliffe Park in Hickey St is the venue for the new markets.

Check out the new Casino Riverside Markets this weekend

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

Agents desperate for stock as homebuyers circle region

Coorabell houses had a whopping median sale price of $1.4 million.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

7 quirky Airbnb homes on the Northern Rivers

Broken Head Bodhi Treehouse

Stay in a shipping container or treehouse for your next holiday

Controversial Iron Gates development renamed

Raine and Horne

Peaceful, pristine and perfect is the new motto for Iron Gates

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!