News

He almost died, now surfer, muso Jock is living the dream

IT'S hard to believe that Lennox Head surfer and musician Jock Barnes doesn't have many low moments.

In 2008 he broke his neck and almost died after sleepwalking off a three-storey high balcony in Bali.

Lennox Head musician and surfer Jock Barnes will defend his title at The Boardmasters in Cornwall, England. Jock won the title last year in a return to competition surfing after breaking his neck in Bali in 2008.
Lennox Head musician and surfer Jock Barnes will defend his title at The Boardmasters in Cornwall, England. Jock won the title last year in a return to competition surfing after breaking his neck in Bali in 2008. Cathy Adams

He spent months in hospital and undergoing rehabilitation, forcing him to put an end to his professional surfing career and start one in music.

"The accident came so close to killing me that I came out of it just brimming with ecstasy and life," Jock said.

"I could walk. I was alive. It made me chase my dreams.

"My dad said to me, 'Jock, you are destined to do something amazing because otherwise, after that, you wouldn't still be here'."

He did something amazing in January 2012.

While running a surf school at Missingham Bridge at Ballina, he saved three Korean nationals from drowning.

He pulled them from the water, dragged them onto a surfboard and took them to shore. Sadly, a fourth man died.

"I am glad that I was there that day," Jock said.

"They were pulling each other down ... I have never seen hysteria like it."

Despite the traumatic experience, Jock continues to grab every opportunity with both hands, making a triumphant return to professional surfing and developing a successful music career.

Last year he competed at Boardmasters at Cornwall in the UK, one of the world's largest surfing and music festivals.

It was his first international surfing competition since he broke his neck, and he won the men's open.

On Sunday he will fly back to defend that title.

Jock Barnes, pictured after rescuing three Korean nationals from drowning at Ballina in 2012.
Jock Barnes, pictured after rescuing three Korean nationals from drowning at Ballina in 2012. Doug Eaton

But this year he's taking his guitar with him, because he's also been asked to perform at the five-day event.

Jock's in the line-up alongside bands such as Faithless, Rudimental, Arrested Development and De La Soul.

"I am loving that I can combine surfing and music," he said.

"I really want to win the men's open again and I feel like I can do it.

Lennox Head musician and surfer Jock Barnes will defend his title at The Boardmasters in Cornwall, England. Jock won the title last year in a return to competition surfing after breaking his neck in Bali in 2008.
Lennox Head musician and surfer Jock Barnes will defend his title at The Boardmasters in Cornwall, England. Jock won the title last year in a return to competition surfing after breaking his neck in Bali in 2008. Cathy Adams

"But it's also going to be amazing to perform. It's all happened so quickly and I'm really excited.

"I'm still pinching myself."

The trip to the UK for Boardmasters isn't cheap, so Jock is asking the community to get behind his Pozible campaign.

He's already sold his car and a guitar.

So far he's garnered support from his dentist, Angus Lambie of Lennox Point Dental, his personal trainer John Comer from Train Hard Eat Smart, and the Lennox Hotel.

To help Jock achieve victory in the waves and on the stage, visit www.pozible.com/project/198188.

Topics:  editors picks, lennox heads, music, surfing




Rally 'terror' threat: Police investigate bridge fire

Images on social media of a home-made  time-delay device used to set a Kyogle bridge on fire during the Brakes Director Border Ranges Rally at the weekend

Police investigate after attempt to burn down bridge

Candidate's wife will do anything for love (and votes)

SARAH Karam has put together a video supporting her husband Ray Karam run for Ballina Mayor

WATCH: This rap video is one way to get noticed before an election

REVEALED: New takeaway shop for Goonellabah

Plans to change this vacant shop in Goonellabah Village into a takeaway shop.

It includes a sandwich bar, salad bar, coffee machine.

Latest deals and offers

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Bindi's boyfriend helps release huge croc

Chandler (far right) helped the jump team.

Chandler Powell helps catch Duncan the croc

Mick Jagger to pay £2.5m to the woman carrying his baby

Mick Jagger is reportedly paying millions to pregnant ballerina

Navy man Keller ready to marry a perfect stranger

Former Navy engineer Keller is a participant in season three of Married At First Sight.

Tattoos are just the surface of Married At First Sight groom.

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m