Published on Dec 15, 2018
This raw footage shows Brazilian Big Wave Surfer, Thiago Jacaré (35 ys old), charging into the first wave of a big set in Nazaré during yesterday’s monster swell. Thiago manages to ride the wave until a bump makes him fall of his board and he gets immediately swallowed by a wall of white water, suffering an extensive hold down before resurfacing just in time to catch a quick breath, just before the next wave impact. His team mate, Big Wave Surfer David Langer, first attempts to rescue him with his jetski, but there’s no window of opportunity during the next waves of the set.
Thiago ends up taking with a total of 5 waves on the head (including the first wave) before he gets rescued by German Big Wave Surfer Sebastian Steudtner, in a moment where all teams in the water were requested to help with this rescue.
Thiago was safely taken to the beach, where a paramedic team was already expecting him with full support. Thiago managed to survive this incident without a scratch, although he was completely exhausted when he got to the beach, and he was immobilised and taken in by an ambulance, as safety measure.
Later on that same day, Thiago gave the following statement to the filmmaker who captured this footage: “This was by far the worst wipeout of my life, I barely got the chance to breath between waves, when I got to the sand I was completely exhausted, to the point I couldn’t even move” (…) “I want to thank Sebastian Steudtner for the rescue and David Langer for the tow, I won’t ever forget this day!”.
Thiago Jacaré is an experienced Big Wave Surfer from Brazil, he worked many years as a professional lifeguard and has several rescue courses, Thiago is also involved in the organisation of Big Wave competitions in Brazil, when he is not chasing giant swells around the world.
Praia do Norte beach, near the fishing village of Nazaré, has become famous worldwide for huge waves in 2011, when Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara set a world-record for the largest wave ever surfed at 78-foot at the time, in 2017 that record was broken by Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa, setting the bar at 80-foot.