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

We’re all in this COVID-19 disaster collectively. Isn’t that wild? Wherever you’re at proper now you’ll be able to relate. It’s as if a Class 5 hurricane is bearing down on the whole world, and we don’t know how or when it would ever dissipate.

Final week nations in all places started ordering residents to remain at house. After which they began closing seashores and lineups. From South Africa to Indonesia excellent waves are at present 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, at least one cop did.

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 at the identical seashore (his native seashore) the place a surfer had a gun fired at him (or at least in the neighborhood of him) a pair days earlier.

We noticed the photograph of you being escorted off the seashore in cuffs from the opposite day. Stroll us by way of 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 by myself, and I had 10 cops rock up on me [laughs]. I instantly paddled in considering 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 mentioned 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 well-known professional surfer, we’ll arrest anyone.”

I don’t assume 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 complete viral craziness.

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

Yeah man. It’s been a fairly hectic couple of days. I’ve heard all kinds of imply stuff. Some good stuff too. However I put my apology video up and that received a whole lot of help. Which is good. General, it was a ridiculous scenario. It might have been nothing, however the cop felt like being a dick and placing my image up.

That mentioned, I wasn’t mistreated or something like that. Lots of people had been considering I used to be the one which received shot at. I had folks freaking out, like, “Are you OK” and “I can’t believe you got shot at!” I needed to inform everybody: that was a unique surfer, on one other day. However it’s been all around the information down right here on a regular basis, they usually have the tales all combined 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 fairly loopy authorized scenario. That cop is in bother for mainly trying to kill somebody. Whether or not he actually aimed for him or not, he shot at the again of an unarmed particular person. So it’s not trying good for the cop.

How do you are feeling in regards to the ocean closures? Some argue blanket guidelines are the one method to cease the unfold of what’s undoubtedly a severe virus, and others argue surfers needs 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 a whole lot 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 seashore, and it’s Easter weekend arising. So, I perceive it that approach, and I believe their [the Government’s] aim is to ensure folks simply erase Easter off their calendar this 12 months and keep at house. However, like for me the opposite day, I walked out from my home and went browsing all by myself. I wasn’t harming anyone, and I wasn’t placing myself or anybody else at threat. However yeah, they’re patrolling tremendous harshly down right here. I’m fairly stunned. They’ve police boats out and every little thing. I additionally assume there’s a whole lot of misinformation about coronavirus down right here. Individuals assume you drop useless when you get it, and they’re so fast to name the cops on you for browsing.

So you’ll be able to’t even present up by boat and drop anchor?

Nope. No browsing allowed.

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

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

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

Yeah, and if folks assume they’re bored now, think about the way it’s gonna be in just a few weeks.

Or just a few months.

A minimum of the waves aren’t going anyplace. We’re simply gonna miss out on a bunch of them, sadly.

This text initially appeared on Surfer.com and was republished with permission.

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