Veteran surfer dies while trying to conquer 'the biggest waves in the world'
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According to local authorities, support staff managed to bring the 47-year-old back to the shore; however their attempts to revive the surfer failed.
“A 47-year-old man of Brazilian nationality died this afternoon after falling while practising surfing in Praia do Norte,” the National Maritime Authority said in a statement yesterday (January 5), as per the outlet.
“The rescuers found that the victim was in cardio-respiratory arrest, immediately starting resuscitation manoeuvres on the sand. After several attempts, it was not possible to reverse the situation.”
According to Surftotal.com, the Brazilian wasn’t wearing an inflatable vest and instead opted for a flotation-style vest.
Marcio cultivated quite a reputation amongst the surfing community, becoming known as one of three Brazilian surfers referred to as ‘Mag Dog’, after tackling the monstrous ‘Jaws’ waves in Hawaii.
One of his biggest accomplishments to date was in 2015 when he was nominated for Wipeout of the Year.
Shortly after news broke that the surfer had passed many shared touching tributes.
Fellow big wave surfer Nic Von Rupp wrote via an Instagram story: “Today we lost one of ours. Always had loads of respect for Marcio as one of the paddle pioneers at Jaws, today I saw him surf in Nazaré with a huge smile..with that smile is how I’m going to remember him.
“Rest in peace Marcio Freire. Condolences to the family.”
Internationally renowned sports photographer Fred Popermayer said: “Today we lost a great man, a very good friend and a legendary surfer, Marcio Freire. He was such a happy spirit, always with a smile on his face.
“He was one of the three ‘Mad Dogs’ who started paddling at Jaws in the early days. He will be forever greatly missed. Rest in peace my friend.”
Nazaré is home to some of the biggest waves in the world due to an underwater canyon, which is 5 km (3.1 miles) deep.
The canyon magnifies the waves, allowing them to reach, on average, around 15 metres (50 feet).
Hawaiian Garrett McNamara put Nazaré on the map over a decade ago when he set a world record for riding the biggest wave ever surfed at 23.77 metres (77.9 feet).