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



Parents warned off high profile anti-vax campaigner

Controversial American speaker on health, nutrition and food, David 'Avocado' Wolfe, is coming back to Byron Bay.

David Wolf 'may influence vulnerable parents already hesitating'

Business owners find millions under the mattress

Millionaire mattress makers Mitchell Taylor and Dany Milham.

'Traditional retailers will wet their pants when they read this'

Top 10 things to do this weekend

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Are you looking to get out and about over the next two days?

Local Partners

New Bishop to lead church through dark times: Archbishop

"At this time the Catholic community ... hang our heads in shame in apology, in determination to ensure such failures do not happen ever again."


Top 10 things to do this weekend

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Are you looking to get out and about over the next two days?

Teeing off to support Jodie's Inspiration

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Vie for the top of the leaderboard, if you dare

Anzac Cup kicks off the new season for soccer

READY TO GO: Greg McMahon of Tursa and Richmond Rovers coach Todd Jones with the Anzac Cup men's premier trophy this week. The competition will kick off tonight.

THE Anzac Cup soccer competition is in it's 68th year

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

'LA LA Land? I only made it through 20 minutes.' Samuel L Jackson reveals his Oscars choices.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

LOVERS: Grant and Chris have been together for more than three years, and Chris' parents refuse to acknowledge their son's fiance.

Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!