Local man loses prosthetic leg while surfing in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A local man is continuing to search for his missing prosthetic leg.

Ryan Johnson says this past weekend he was surfing in Sandbridge when he felt it come loose.

“I’m sitting on the sand and trying to grab my prosthetic and keep it on while trying to hold on to my longboard,” he said.

But a big wave hit him, and took his leg with it.

“I see the wave, I see the foot, the whole prosthetic, under the wave near the sand and then it crashed and it was gone.”

Johnson says he’s had the leg since his motorcycle accident back in 2017.

“A lady was an inexperienced motorcycle rider and she came into my lane and I moved over the right side and she clipped my foot with her peg,” he said.

Johnson, an avid surfer since he was 11, knew the accident couldn’t stop him from surfing. He says the prosthetic leg that was snatched by the wave enables him to keep doing the physical activities he loves to do.

“It fit really well, it’s actually my workout foot. It’s carbon fiber, it’s springy, I’m able to run in it,” Johnson said.

Ryan Johnson surfing.

Johnson is currently using a backup prosthetic.  

“I don’t want to break that one. I’ve already broke it before.”

Although his prosthetic leg is gone, Johnson isn’t giving up hope he’ll find it.

He says flyers have been put up and he even went back into the water the next day to look for it. He says if you find it, you’ll know it’s his by the design, identical to his backup prosthetic.

“The Joker’s on the front and on the back it’s Marvin the Martian,” Johnson said.

He thinks the current may have taken it away from Sandbridge, so he’s asking people to be on the lookout for it at any beach.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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