Fate of mystery boat sweep revealed after wipeout at NSW Surf Lifesaving championships

EXCLUSIVE: The identity of the man caught up in the centre of the drama has been revealed.

It's the picture worth framing – but the star of the show wants nothing to do with it. The dramatic photo of Mona Vale Surf Club's boat sweep Bryce Munro – vertical and headed for an unknown fate - was captured by photographer/journalist Mike Gee during last week's NSW Surf Lifesaving Championships at Queenscliff on Sydney's northern beaches.

Gee was out walking his dogs when he came across the surf carnival. "I was taking some wide angles to get some atmospheric shots and focused on one of the boats returning to shore," he told Yahoo Sport Australia. "As I did, the boat went down a wave and I started taking photos. It nose-dived, stood on its end for a good 10 seconds and then dropped down, the sweep hanging on for dear life, the crew in the water.

Bryce Munro, pictured here in a dramatic wipeout during the NSW Surf Lifesaving championships.
Bryce Munro was captured in a dramatic wipeout during the NSW Surf Lifesaving championships. Image: Jon Dibbs

"I knew I had a sequence of the boat going down, going up and hanging in the air. Luckily, they all came out. I've been taking photos for more than 15 years now and done a lot of surfing and surf lifesaving events but I have never seen a 'stack' like this one. I'm just glad that nobody was seriously injured. It could have all turned out badly."

Fellow photographer Jon Dibbs also captured the dramatic moments the boat was up-ended and Munro pushed the eject button. Munro's identity was initially a mystery, with social media followers eager to find out who he was and how he finished up.

Onlookers, pictured here watching Bryce Munro's wipeout from the beach.
Onlookers were stunned by Bryce Munro's wipeout at Queenscliff. Image: Mike Gee

Bryce Munro speaks out after dramatic wipeout

Yahoo Sport Australia tracked him down at a Sydney worksite, where he revealed the photos brought back not so fond memories. "I'm not such a fan of it. It’s a reminder that we didn’t get through the heat," he said. "It was something that didn’t quite go to plan and that's the one everyone is talking about."

In typical clubbie fashion, the modest Munro didn’t want to talk up the incident, insisting the reality wasn't as dramatic as the images suggest. He said: "I've been doing this a long time and didn't think too much of it to be honest.

"I thought we'd just bounce backwards or come out of it. It wasn't a big wave with a big face, but there was a fair bit of water behind it and it caught us in the belly of the boat and there was only one way it could go. I didn't get pitched out. I just looked down for a bit of clear water with no waves and did a little pencil dive."


All crew members – part of the Mona Vale under-23 women's team – landed safely in the water and returned to the beach. They were disappointed their day was over but relieved to be in one piece.