Surf photographer Ian Mitchinson’s massive wave hold down at Mullaghmore

Summary: Ian Mitchinson documented one of the heaviest situations a surf photographer can ever get into.

Surf photography can be dangerous. But just like big wave surfing, it’s surprising how few serious injuries occur considering the potential for disaster involved.

South African Surf photographer Ian Mitchinson’s latest video is an example of how quickly things can go wrong, and how a bunch of people acting selflessly, and a bit of luck, can turn a bad situation into an amazing story:

He describes it as a “medium” sized day at Mullaghmore, but the waves are pretty big, and the sneak set that caught him unawares was significantly bigger

His housing got ripped out of his hand when he went over the falls, so it’s loose in the lineup at a pretty sketchy big wave reef. Amazingly it floats for 22 minutes (the GoPro recording everything) before being picked up by a passing boat, the skipper of the yacht then motors around to the break to deliver it back!

The whole thing is a great reminder to look out for your fellow surfers and photographers, and to always be aware of the ocean’s power.

I visited Mullaghmore in May this year, it didn’t get big enough to break properly when I was there but I did get some great shots and surfing in at some of the other local breaks. I’d recommend heading out there to have a look to anyone visiting the West coast of Ireland, it’s a beautiful little headland and there’s a great beach next to the harbour. If it’s big enough for the jet ski’s to be launching, I’d probably stay on the land, just in case you’re not as lucky (and well prepared) as Ian.

See more of Ian’s work here: