Everyone knows summer is the season of the dreaded bluey, but how’s this for a horror story? While surfing a protected nor-east corner south of his home on the Goldy recently, one-time CT campaigner and perennial character Mitch Crews was stung right in the gob. Yep, talk about a tough pill to swallow, poor Crewsy ended up with the mongrel thing’s tentacle stuck in and around his mouth and had to get veteran photographer Swilly and Mitch’s brother, Tom, who were both shooting from the beach, to pull it out.
“I’d been out there for close to two hours and was keen on wrapping up the surf,” Mitch recounts. “There were bluebottles everywhere and I’d somehow avoided them the whole session, then I got this wave and went ‘I won’t finish my surf on this wave’ and kicked out of it aggressively backhand, and in the lip the bluebottle flew into my mouth and I immediately just went ‘What the fuck?’ It was the worst pain, instant pain.”
With the talented natural-footer’s mouth and neck swelling badly and everyone starting to freak, an ambulance was called. Luckily, after checking his vitals, the paramedics made the call that, despite being in a world of hurt, he wasn’t actually in danger. Panadol was administered along with the advice that the pain would eventually subside. Impressively, neither of them had treated or even heard of anyone copping a bluebottle sting in the mouth before.
“It was probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life,’ admits Mitch. ‘Just excruciating pain. It was to the point that I just wanted to pass out.”
Thankfully the pain didn’t last, and except for a swollen mug, the poor bugger was all better by the next day. But he does contend that the bluebottles have been particularly brutal this summer.
“I’ve never seen so many in my life. They’re really different this year. They’re the most painful little fuckers, I don’t know what’s going on. Global warming, the earth heating up—weird sea creatures are getting angrier.”
So what does this mean for the good-natured shredder’s surfing career? Is he irrevocably scarred from the event? Does a Mick Fanning shark attack-style comeback await us? Well, maybe not, but after two disrupted seasons thanks to consecutive ankle injuries, he’s looking to give the QS one last shove in 2019 and hopefully get himself back on tour.
And who knows, it might come together for him. Anyone unfortunate enough to be stung in the mouth by a bluebottle probably has some good luck coming their way.