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Why Are Surfers Getting Shot at by Police in Costa Rica?


We’re all on this COVID-19 disaster collectively. Isn’t that wild? Wherever you’re at proper now you possibly can relate. It’s as if a Class 5 hurricane is bearing down on the complete world, and we do not know how or when it should ever dissipate.

Final week international locations in all places started ordering residents to remain at house. After which they began closing seashores and lineups. From South Africa to Indonesia good waves are presently going unridden for the primary time in 50-plus years. J-Bay is on lockdown. Surfers in LA are getting $1,000 fines. And in Costa Rica, cops are firing weapons at surfers—effectively, a minimum of one cop did.

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Wanting to listen to extra in regards to the COVID-19 scenario down in Costa Rica, we referred to as Noe Mar McGonagle, after he’d been “arrested” for browsing on the similar seaside (his native seaside) the place a surfer had a gun fired at him (or a minimum of within the neighborhood of him) a pair days earlier.

We noticed the photograph of you being escorted off the seaside in cuffs from the opposite day. Stroll us via that scenario. Do you know it was unlawful to surf?

Yeah, we’d been banned from browsing—the entire nation, all seashores—for a few weeks already. However everybody was pushing it, nonetheless browsing. That day I used to be simply browsing completely on my own, and I had 10 cops rock up on me [laughs]. I instantly paddled in pondering they had been simply gonna inform me to go away, however they arrested me.

What occurred from there?

I went to the police station for about an hour. However they had been cool. They didn’t find yourself fining me. They mainly simply stated in the event that they caught me browsing once more I used to be going to jail.

[Above: Noe Mar McGonagle, during calmer times at the same break where he’d later be arrested]

Did it really feel like they had been simply attempting to make use of you to set an instance? To say to everybody else, “Look, if we’ll arrest a widely known skilled surfer, we’ll arrest anybody.”

I don’t suppose they knew it was me at first. However then one of many officers acknowledged me, took a photograph of me and put it on Fb, and that’s what began this entire viral craziness.

Have you ever been getting messages from on-line keyboard warriors?

Yeah man. It’s been a reasonably hectic couple of days. I’ve heard all types of imply stuff. Some good stuff too. However I put my apology video up and that bought loads of assist. Which is good. Total, it was a ridiculous scenario. It might have been nothing, however the cop felt like being a dick and placing my image up.

That stated, I wasn’t mistreated or something like that. Lots of people had been pondering I used to be the one which bought shot at. I had folks freaking out, like, “Are you OK” and “I can’t imagine you bought shot at!” I needed to inform everybody: that was a distinct surfer, on one other day. Nevertheless it’s been everywhere in the information down right here on a regular basis, they usually have the tales all blended up, so folks simply assume that was me.

To make clear, what occurred? Did an officer actually shoot at one other surfer?

Yeah, that was fairly loopy. I do know the man they shot at. I don’t know him effectively, and I haven’t talked to him since, however that’s a reasonably loopy authorized scenario. That cop is in hassle for mainly trying to kill somebody. Whether or not he actually aimed for him or not, he shot in the back of an unarmed particular person. So it’s not wanting good for the cop.

How do you are feeling in regards to the ocean closures? Some argue blanket guidelines are the one technique to cease the unfold of what’s positively a severe virus, and others argue surfers ought to be allowed to surf as long as they don’t do it in teams. The place do you stand?

I do know there are loads of locations the place they’re actually upset about us browsing. Like Pavones, my hometown. I perceive the foundations as a result of browsing brings lots of people from the capital to the seaside, and it’s Easter weekend developing. So, I perceive it that approach, and I feel their [the Government’s] purpose is to verify folks simply erase Easter off their calendar this yr and keep at house. However, like for me the opposite day, I walked out from my home and went browsing all on my own. I wasn’t harming anyone, and I wasn’t placing myself or anybody else in danger. However yeah, they’re patrolling tremendous harshly down right here. I’m fairly shocked. They’ve police boats out and the whole lot. I additionally suppose there’s loads of misinformation about coronavirus down right here. Folks suppose you drop lifeless in case you get it, and they’re so fast to name the cops on you for browsing.

So you possibly can’t even present up by boat and drop anchor?

Nope. No browsing allowed.

How do you propose to move the time whereas not browsing?

We’ve been advised we are literally allowed to go away our home for a motorcycle journey or to go for a run, and I do loads of mountain biking anyway. So I’ll in all probability do one lengthy journey on a regular basis. Attempting not to consider the ocean for the reason that waves have been firing.

Loopy to suppose we’re all on this collectively, in each nook of the globe.

Yeah, and if folks suppose they’re bored now, think about the way it’s gonna be in a couple of weeks.

Or a couple of months.

No less than the waves aren’t going wherever. We’re simply gonna miss out on a bunch of them, sadly.

This text initially appeared on and was republished with permission.

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