Wed, 12 February 2020

Portuguese Alex Botelho's condition in hospital is stable after he and tow partner Hugo Vau averted catastrophy in huge Nazaré yesterday. The video shows how bad it was, writes Spike.

Botelho lying on the matt and tow driver Hugo Vau narrowly escaped disaster when they got boxed in by two oncoming waves running at right angles to each other. The apex of a wedge at the intersection between the two waves converged on them as they tried to ramp their way back out. Botelho had just been picked up by Vau after a wipeout only to suffer one that was a lot worse.

The jetski shot high into the air live on air as WSL commentators - and half the surfing world - watched. It was difficult to see whether either of the two men hit the jetski on the way down, but a sickening moment later all three were sucked over the falls.

Botelho looked comatose - you even hear one of the commentators say "There's a body!" - when he was pulled up the beach and strapped to a spinal stretcher.


CLOSE SHAVE: Alex Bortelho is extremely lucky to have escaped with his life. Photo WSL / Masurel

“Currently, he is stable and conscious,” the World Surf League said. “He will stay at the hospital for further evaluation. A heartfelt thank you to the safety and medical teams for their quick response. We are wishing Alex a full and speedy recovery.”

Fellow countryman Nic Von Rupp, was freaked out at the carnage that unfolded, saying on Instagram, "Today I was confronted with the reality of our sport. Heartbreaking watching my brother [Botelho] between life and death right in front of the eyes of the world. Honestly, very few would have survived.”

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