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Pro surfer is knocked unconscious by freak accident as he’s hit by two giant waves in Portugal

A big wave surfer was knocked unconscious after being slammed by two freak waves during a competition in Portugal as storms created ‘exceptional’ weather conditions. 

Alex Botelho was being towed back to shore on a jetski by fellow surfer Hugo Vau when they were caught between the two breaking waves.

They were trying to outrun one giant wall of water behind them when another surged in from the front.

The Canadian-born Portuguese surfer was knocked unconscious and was dragged ashore by Vau and other competitors during the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge, which saw waves up to 45ft, on Tuesday.

He was revived by paramedics and was said to be ‘stable and conscious’ in hospital today.

Alex Botelho from Portugal rides a wave during the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge before being knocked unconscious

‘Big wave surfer Alex Botelho was involved in a very serious incident during the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge,’ the World Surf League (WSL) said in a statement.

‘A heartfelt thank you to the safety and medical teams for their quick response. We are wishing Alex a full and speedy recovery.’

Nic Von Rupp, another Portuguese big wave surfer, wrote on Instagram: ‘Heartbreaking watching my brother between life and death right in front of the eyes of the world. 

‘Honestly, very few would have survived.’

It is the first time the WSL’s Big Wave world tour has visited Nazaré, a fishing village notorious for its dangerous conditions with waves up to 100ft high.

Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa holds the world record for the biggest wave ever surfed when he took on a 24m monster at Nazaré in 2017.

Breathtaking photos show surfers gliding over enormous waves and taking air before miraculously reaching the shore through treacherous whitewater during the nail-biting spectacle. 

The competition made history for allowing women for the first time in mixed-gender teams. 

For the first time ever, Brazilian record holder Maya Gabeira and French surfing legend Justine Dupont competed with men in pairs as part of a new format for the event where competitors alternate between surfing and driving a jet ski. 

Nazare’s breathtaking waves are caused by 5km deep and 200km wide underwater canyon ending just before the town’s shoreline, with the event making sure to take advantage of the ‘exceptional’ weather conditions, the World Surf League said. 

Rescuers pulled Alex Botelho from the water unconscious and was treated at the scene before he was taken to hospital. He is now said to be stable and conscious

Rescuers pulled Alex Botelho from the water unconscious and was treated at the scene before he was taken to hospital. He is now said to be stable and conscious

One Portuguese star wasn't so lucky and was rushed to hospital after being towed by a jetski when he was pummelled by an approaching wave

One Portuguese star wasn’t so lucky and was rushed to hospital after being towed by a jetski when he was pummelled by an approaching wave

Surfers battled 45ft waves in Portugal to compete for the top spot at the World Surf League in Portugal on Tuesday, after a swell caused by Storm Ciara created 'exceptional' weather conditions for the event

Surfers battled 45ft waves in Portugal to compete for the top spot at the World Surf League in Portugal on Tuesday, after a swell caused by Storm Ciara created ‘exceptional’ weather conditions for the event

The competition, which is held in the ancient fishing village of Nazare known, was treated to near-perfect forecast, as active storms in the North Atlantic, together with light winds, whipped up ideal waves

The competition, which is held in the ancient fishing village of Nazare known, was treated to near-perfect forecast, as active storms in the North Atlantic, together with light winds, whipped up ideal waves

The competition, which traditionally featured a male-only paddle competition, even made history for allowing women for the first time in mixed-gender teams

The competition, which traditionally featured a male-only paddle competition, even made history for allowing women for the first time in mixed-gender teams

Nazare's breathtaking waves are caused by 5km deep and 200km wide underwater canyon ending just before the town's shoreline

Nazare’s breathtaking waves are caused by 5km deep and 200km wide underwater canyon ending just before the town’s shoreline

Surfers and technical team help the Portuguese surfer Alex Botelho who got injured during the Nazare Tour Surfing Challenge, the 5th stage of the Big Wave Tour, of the World Surf League

Surfers and technical team help the Portuguese surfer Alex Botelho who got injured during the Nazare Tour Surfing Challenge, the 5th stage of the Big Wave Tour, of the World Surf League

For the first time ever, Brazilian Guinness World Record holder Maya Gabeira and French surfing legend Justine Dupont competed with men in pairs as part of a new format for the event where competitors alternate between surfing and driving a jet ski

For the first time ever, Brazilian Guinness World Record holder Maya Gabeira and French surfing legend Justine Dupont competed with men in pairs as part of a new format for the event where competitors alternate between surfing and driving a jet ski

Surfer Sebastian Steudtner is seen riding a wave. The big wave competition that took place on the Praia do Norte beach took advantage of the huge swell that hit the Portuguese coast

Surfer Sebastian Steudtner is seen riding a wave. The big wave competition that took place on the Praia do Norte beach took advantage of the huge swell that hit the Portuguese coast 

Spectators gather to watch Surfer Lucas Chianca gliding down an enormous wave on the Portuguese coast during the nail-biting competition

Spectators gather to watch Surfer Lucas Chianca gliding down an enormous wave on the Portuguese coast during the nail-biting competition 

Breathtaking photos show surfers were gliding over enormous waves before miraculously taking air or reaching the shore through treacherous whitewater during the nail-biting spectacle

Breathtaking photos show surfers were gliding over enormous waves before miraculously taking air or reaching the shore through treacherous whitewater during the nail-biting spectacle

A surfer from Team Europe braves the waves during the incredible competition which was treated to enormous waves

A surfer from Team Europe braves the waves during the incredible competition which was treated to enormous waves

Nazare's breathtaking waves are caused by 5km deep and 200km wide underwater canyon ending just before the town's shoreline

Nazare’s breathtaking waves are caused by 5km deep and 200km wide underwater canyon ending just before the town’s shoreline

A surfer from Team France surfing during the 2020 Nazare Challenge. The seaside village is also known as 'Portugal's most dangerous wave'

A surfer from Team France surfing during the 2020 Nazare Challenge. The seaside village is also known as ‘Portugal’s most dangerous wave’

Brazilian surfer, Lucas Chianca, from the Young Bulls team, in action during the Nazare Tour Surfing Challenge

Brazilian surfer, Lucas Chianca, from the Young Bulls team, in action during the Nazare Tour Surfing Challenge

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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