Big-wave surfer catches 60-foot wave at famous Portugal surfing spot but wipes out on similar wave, gets beaten up by subsequent waves before towed to safety.
Andrew Cotton, 35, of North Devon, U.K., was among six big-wave surfers challenging the huge waves at world-famous Nazare, Portugal, in the past week. Cotton was swallowed up and pounded by a similar wave, and then endured the beating of subsequent waves before he was towed to safety.
After wiping out, Cotton surfaced too far from the Jet Ski rescuers and was pummeled by oncoming waves despite ducking under them.
“The next four waves broke on my head and it felt as though my arm had snapped with the pressure,” Cotton told MailOnline. “Then I felt a shooting pain up my arm. The wipeout was intense but not that bad, although I was under for quite a long time, about 15 seconds.”
After surviving subsequent waves, Cotton was finally pulled to safety.
“Success in big-wave surfing is often based on how you deal with wiping out in these life-threatening waves,” Cotton told MailOnline. “The natural instinct is to fight and swim to the surface, but that is the last thing you should do. You have to relax and go with it. Holding your breath is a complete mind game, everyone can hold their breath for a few minutes, but you have to stay calm and believe in yourself.”
Earlier, Cotton rode a wave that gave him his third XXL Big Wave contest entry of the season, but it was nowhere near a record.