Duct-Tape Surfer Pascale Honore Dies At 52

Woman who inspired millions by surfing taped to friend’s back dies aged 52.

On Sunday, the devastated friends and family of Pascale Honore raised their glasses around a campfire at Elliston beach in memory of the woman whose embrace of life was its own inspiration.

Born in Paris in 1963, Ms Honore, 52, died in Southport Hospital from a twisted bowel after undergoing surgery about a week ago. Her health had deteriorated and she spent more than two months in hospital in Byron Bay this year for treatment for pressure sores.

Pascal Honore surfs, while taped to the back of Elliston surfer Ty Swan. Photo: Hayden Richards

“She was really positive, she was an inspiration to lots of people,” Mr Beaty said.

Her son Tom said on social media that it helped to know how loved his mother was around the world.

“She is living proof that anything really is possible!,” he wrote. “I love you so much mum, and I know you will be watching over us for the rest of our days!”

In another social media post, friends wrote a message of love in the sand at Broken Head, a surf break near Byron Bay, and told her she was free to “become the mermaid we all know you are”.

Mr Beaty said recent poor health — including prolonged pressure sores, which were a complication of paralysis — had taken its toll, as had the loss of her beloved dog, Coyote, who was run over recently in Byron Bay. But for 20 years, she inspired others by refusing to be crushed by her disability.

“She was a legend around the place,” Mr Beaty said. “When she was at Hampstead (Rehabilitation Centre) she would go along and talk to the paraplegics, teaching them how to get their lives together. She was very courageous.”

As a young woman, Ms Honore left France and backpacked her way through Asia before travelling to Australia and working as a grape picker in the southern vales.

She fell in love with the West Coast town of Elliston after her friend’s car broke down on the way to Streaky Bay and they were forced to spend a week there.

Ms Honore suffered a T4 spinal cord injury after rolling her car while travelling between Port Lincoln and Elliston 20 years ago.

“I just remember waking up with the guy’s head above me and he said, ‘You’ve had a car accident and you’ll be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life’,” Ms Honore told the Sunday Mail in 2013.

“He was the surgeon, but I didn’t know that at the time. I just remember thinking, ‘What are you on about?’”

Confined to a wheelchair, Ms Honore was determined that her injury wouldn’t hold her back.

“One day I just told myself, ‘well, maybe I could walk one day, but in the meantime what am I supposed to do’?” she said.

Pascal and Tyron collapse with exhaustion after surfing at Sheringa beach near Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula.

“That’s when I decided to just get on with it. You either look at what you’ve got or you look at what you haven’t got.”

Determined to find a way to enjoy the waves that she watched Tom and Morgan riding, Ms Honore and close family friend Ty Swan hatched a plan to use common duct tape to make her dream come true.

Taping Ms Honore to his back, Ty managed to perfect the art of riding tandem on the West Coast’s powerful waves. The pair was approached to tell their amazing story on television and radio across the US, Europe and Great Britain. A short film of the pair surfing by renowned water photographer Mark Tipple won worldwide praise and a number of awards.

Ms Honore and Mr Swan then travelled to Western Australia, surfing and sharing their inspirational story, before travelling to New South Wales after being invited to speak at the Byron Bay Surf Festival.

An autopsy will be conducted and a memorial service will be held later in Elliston.
Source: The Advertiser

RIP Pascale Honore

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