Tony Hussein Hinde

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Anthony Hussein Hinde (1953[1] – 27 May 2008) was an Australian-born Maldivian surfer and surfing pioneer. Hinde is considered to be the "father of surfing in the Maldives."[2][3] He is co-credited with discovering the surfing potential in the Maldives, along with Australian surfer Mark Scanlon, and kick-starting the nation's emerging tourism industry.[3][4]

Hinde's life in the Maldives began in December 1973. Hinde and fellow Australian surfer Mark Scanlon were shipwrecked on the North Malé atoll in the Maldives aboard the Whitewings, a ketch in which they had been hired as crewmembers.[2] The Whitewings had been en route across the Indian Ocean from Sri Lanka to Réunion Island when they ran aground.[3] Hinde spent several unplanned months in the Maldives repairing the boat.[2] However, he quickly discovered how good the surfing potential was in the northern Maldives and decided to stay in the country.[2][3]

In order to stay in the country Hinde became a Maldivian citizen and converted to Islam.He married a Maldivian woman, Zulfa, on 27 May 1983.[3] Hinde largely managed to keep the surfing possibilities of the Maldives an open secret among surfing friends for almost fifteen years.[2] However, in the mid-1980s Hinde opened Atoll Adventures, a surfing camp in Tari village, in response to plans by foreign investor to open resorts in the area.[2] Hinde continued to run the surfing camp and hotel, which changes its name to Dhonveli Beach & Spa in early 2000.[2] It is now known as Chaaya Dhonveli, or Dhonveli Beach.[2][4][5]

Tony Hussein Hinde died on 27 May 2008 while surfing at Pasta Point in Malé Atoll in the Maldives at the age of 55.[3] He suffered an apparent heart attack after riding a wave.[3] He was found floating face down in the water, but CPR failed to resuscitate him.[3] He was buried at Mollymook cemetery in his native New South Wales, Australia on 3 June 2008.[3] Local Maldivian and foreign surfers held a memorial at Varunulaa Raalhugandu, the main surfing spot in the capital city of Malé, and at Pasta Point on 8 June.[2][3]

Hinde was survived by his daughter, Mishal, and his son, Ashley.[3] His wife, Zulfa, whom he married in 1983, died in January 2008.[3] The same day that Hinde died would have marked the couple's twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.[3]

The Dhivehi Observer, a Maldivian newspaper based in the United Kingdom, said of Hinde that "In fact most Maldivians think he is a Maldivian but is an Australian who has bridged that cultural gap" (between the two countries).[4]

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