Aaron Beveridge: Margaret River surf community mourns loss of veteran surfer at Mainbreak

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Aaron Beveridge (left), who went missing while surfer in Margaret River this week. 
Pictured with Carl Beveridge
Camera IconAaron Beveridge (left), who went missing while surfer in Margaret River this week. Pictured with Carl Beveridge Credit: Unknown/Facebook

The Margaret River surfing community is in mourning after the shock loss of one of the region’s best-known veteran surfers.

Aaron Beveridge was among a group of the bravest big-wave surfers taking on massive storm conditions on Friday afternoon at Mainbreak when it was believed he became snared in a notorious spot known as the Surgeon’s Table.

The underground reef ledge has claimed lives before and it was there the father of three submerged. He has not been seen since.

A full sea search was launched to find the 47-year-old chef and maintenance worker, but difficult conditions halted the efforts of marine volunteers and the police air wing helicopter was stood down on Monday after failing to find the missing surfer.

Friends of Mr Beveridge described the New Zealander as one of a kind.

He was a regular big wave surfer and among the group of seasoned ocean-goers who loved surfing when storm conditions provided epic waves.

Aaron Beveridge at Southsides.
Camera IconAaron Beveridge at Southsides. Credit: Bec Sheedy-Ryan/filefishbec/filefishbec

Mr Beveridge was described as a calm presence in the water and highly experienced, as well as a good mate to friends when they faced difficulties — in the water and their personal lives.

Friends were distraught they were unable to help when Mr Beveridge got into trouble on Friday.

Big wave surfers were in the water with longboards fitted with long leg ropes for the strong conditions.

It is understood Mr Beveridge was unable to escape the ocean pressure after being taken under.

Aaron Beveridge surfing Mainbreak.
Camera IconAaron Beveridge surfing Mainbreak. Credit: Bec Sheedy-Ryan/filefishbec/filefishbec

His board was caught in what surfers call a “tombstone” position indicating his location underwater.

However, the Times understands the leg rope then snapped.

Despite being trained in specialist breathing techniques for such circumstances, the size of the swell late on Friday immediately gave onlookers little hope Mr Beveridge would be found alive.

He leaves behind a 14-year-old son in Margaret River and two adult daughters at home in New Zealand.

Aaron Beveridge, who went missing while surfer in Margaret River this week. Unknown
Camera IconAaron Beveridge, who went missing while surfer in Margaret River this week. Unknown Credit: Unknown/Facebook

Mr Beveridge’s parents were distraught.

“A mum’s worst nightmare this weekend,” Cheryl Wilson said online.

“My son Aaron James Beveridge was tragically taken at sea while pursuing his passion for surfing at Margaret River, Western Australia.

“Can’t get my head around what’s happening. Hard to process.

“RIP Aaron. You were loved so much by so many people, absolutely devastated.”

Father Don Beveridge said his son would be remembered as a brother, friend, and father.

“Aaron went for a surf in his favourite place in Margaret River,” he said.

“Unfortunately he never returned. Words cannot capture the loss we are all feeling at this time.”

In August 2021, 65-year-old pioneering surfer Frank Hayter was claimed at the same location.

The still-competitive surfer’s leg rope became tangled in the reef, causing him to drown, though fellow surfers brought him ashore where efforts to revive Mr Hayter failed.

The search for Mr Beveridge has since been suspended indefinitely pending new information.

The Times understands Mr Beveridge’s death was the fourth non-shark-related fatality at Main Break in the past decade.

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