This budding blonde surfer from South Africa famed for his bravery in tackling some of the biggest waves despite his young age has died, apparently after falling down a staircase at home.
Decorated junior surfer Llewellyn Engelbrecht, 11, died at his home in Coffee Bay in the south-eastern South African province of Eastern Cape.
A family representative released a statement on the Ugu Surfriders Facebook page that said: “Llewellyn suffered a terrible accident while on the stairs at his home.
“It appears from the medical report that he broke his neck severing his spinal cord leading to his instant passing. Upon not hearing from Llewellyn for some time his parents began looking for him.”
One of the boy’s parents reportedly found him that morning around 10am.
The statement continued: “Initial observation by the medical examiner suggested it was death by asphyxiation caused by severing of the spinal cord. An autopsy was carried out on Wednesday (13th May).”
Ugu Surfriders chairperson Wade Botha said on social media: “It is an even harder pill to swallow when it is such a young life, with so much more to give and a life to live.
“If I think back to the 2019 SA Junior Champs and the Ugu Surfriders junior team, I can still see the team with their long, blond-haired ‘mascot’ – one of those team members that instantly creep into your heart with their infectious ways and good vibes.
“Llewellyn went on to produce one of the best results of the team, despite being a fair bit younger than his competitors. The talent was there and his heart was set on big things, surfing every heat with so much determination.
“It truly is amazing to see the reach his personality had and how many lives he touched, how many hearts he climbed into and how many he inspired with his tenacity. Llewellyn touched more lives in his 11 short years than some people do in an entire lifetime.
“Although it was not the longest time, it was a privilege to meet you, judge your performances and have a small part in your surfing journey, that was no doubt set to be very bright.”
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