PROMINENT Perth developer and keen big wave surfer Luke Wyllie is in hospital tonight with a suspected fractured neck after suffering an horrific wipe-out while surfing in WA’s North West.
Although details were sketchy, it is understood Mr Wyllie came to grief when surfing a big swell at a famed yet notorious left-hand reef break known as Gnaraloo, 120km north of Carnarvon.
The father of two had to be evacuated out of the remote location before he was flown to Royal Perth Hospital for medical treatment.
A RPH spokeswoman confirmed Mr Wyllie was “unwell but stable” yesterday amid reports he had had an MRI scan and been put in a brace.
It is believed Mr Wyllie fractured vertebrae in his neck and has multiple fractured ribs, while also being left with lacerations to his body.
The incident has shocked WA’s tight-knit big wave surfing community, where Mr Wyllie is well known for chasing big swells.
Mr Wyllie, 36, is the son of late property scion Bill Wyllie and Perth socialite and philanthropist Rhonda, who flew back to WA from Europe yesterday to be by his side.
He is believed to have been holidaying in Exmouth, with pictures posted on Mrs Wyllie’s Instagram account showing the family at the popular spot last week.
Big wave surfer Mick Corbett said Mr Wyllie was an accomplished surfer in dangerous conditions and would have known what he was doing at Gnaraloo.
However, Mr Corbett said Gnaraloo was treacherous, and noted that people had died while surfing there before.
“One time I actually flew up to Gnaraloo with him and he was one of if not the best surfers out there,” he said.
“There was some pretty heavy hitters in the water at the time and it was about as big as Gnaraloo gets. So he definitely knows his way around there.”