November 8, 2017 - Nazaré, Portugal
Professional Big Wave Surfer, Andrew Cotton (UK), suffered a horrific wipeout during a Big Wave Session in Praia do Norte in Portugal, and was taken to the Hospital, after hurting his back. This exclusive footage shows the wave and the moment Cotton is catapulted into the air, and the all aftermath until he is moved to the Ambulance.
Cotton caught a monster wave, and successfully rode it till the end. When the wave closed out, Cotton jumped from his board and was then projected into the air several meters high by the huge white water explosion. After the huge wipeout and after being held down underwater for many seconds, Cotton was hit by another wave on the head before being rescued by his partner professional Big Wave Surfer, Hugo Vau. During the rescue operation, the jetski was flipped by another wave, and both Cotton and Vau had to swim to the beach.
A Medical Team on site promptly attended Andrew Cotton soon as he got to the beach. At this moment cotty was with pain on his back, so they immobilised him as a precautionary measure. He was then taken by Ambulance a few minutes later to the Hospital.
According to filmmaker Pedro Miranda who shot this video, "he broke his back but is stable and recovering good and has no further damage, except being away from the water for maybe 3 months. We all wish him the best and a fast recovery, this was by far the gnarliest wipeout of the Season, stoked that Cotty is recovering”, the filmer said.
Also, Cotton posted a little update from his hospital bed later at night: “Thanks to everyone who helped this morning,” he said. “Everyone was really calm, you guys really saved my back, which unfortunately is broken but definitely could be worse, so thank you.”
Andrew Cotton is Britain's most notorious Big Wave Surfer, one of Nazaré's first pioneers along with his team mate Garrett McNamara. Cotton has been consistently surfing giant waves in Nazaré since the beginning 6-7 years ago and was previously nominated for the WSL Big Wave Awards with a wave caught in Nazaré.