Legendary Brazilian Surfer Killed By Giant Waves in Portugal

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Brazilian surfer Marcio Freire died after being hit by a giant wave while practicing tow-in surfing off the coast of Portugal Thursday.

Rescue staff used jet-skis to pull the 47-year-old to shore, but attempts to revive him failed.

“The lifeguards verified that the victim was in cardiorespiratory arrest, immediately initiating resuscitation maneuvers,” the statement read. “After several attempts, it was not possible to revert the situation.”

The accident took place in an area known as Nazaré Canyon, considered one of surfing’s biggest and most terrifying challenges. In 2020, German surfer Sebastian Steudtner broke a world record for riding an 86-foot wave at Nazaré.

Legendary Brazilian Surfer Marcio Freire Killed By Giant Waves In Portugal
Brazilian surfer Marcio Freire died on January 5, 2023 while surfing the celebrated Atlantic waves in Portugal, home of the Nazare Canyon. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty Images)

Freire gained fame as one of three surfers featured in the “Mad Dogs” documentary which detailed the men’s attempts to conquer a surf break dubbed “Jaws.” Off of the Hawaiian island of Maui, “Jaws” can produce waves with faces 100 feet high as ocean swells pass over the very deep coral reef.

In the wake of Freire’s death, fellow surfers posted their tributes on social media.

In case you don’t speak Portuguese, that last one reads, “Life is just a passage through the earth. Go with God, my brother. Aloha.”

Written by Amber Harding

Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.

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