Veteran ‘Mad Dog’ surfer Marcio Freire, 47, dies while surfing at Portugal’s legendary giant-wave break Nazare
- Marcio Freire died on Thursday when he fell surfing on Nazare’s famed waves
- Rescuers on jet-skis got him onto the beach, but efforts to revive him failed
- Tributes have poured in for the legendary surfer, known as one of the ‘Mad Dogs’
Legendary Brazilian surfer Marcio Freire died on Thursday while surfing on the giant waves at Nazare in Portugal.
The veteran was practicing tow-in surfing at the famed giant waves on the central coast of Portugal when he fell, the local maritime authority said.
Support staff on jet-skis managed to get the 47-year-old to the beach, but all attempts to revive him failed.
Freire was one of the three Brazilian surfers who became known as the ‘Mad Dogs’ after conquering the giant wave known as ‘Jaws’ in Hawaii. They featured in the 2016 documentary Mad Dogs.
Marcio Freire (pictured) died on Thursday while surfing on the giant waves at Nazare in Portugal
Freire was one of the three Brazilian surfers who became known as the ‘Mad Dogs’ after conquering the giant wave ‘Jaws’ in Hawaii in the 2016 documentary. Pictured: Freire in Bali, Indonesia, September 16, 2022
Portugal’s National Maritime Authority said in a statement: ‘A 47-year-old man of Brazilian nationality died this afternoon after falling while practising surfing in Praia do Norte.
‘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.’
Tributes from other surfers poured in on Instagram.
‘He surfed all day with a big smile on his face,’ said fellow big wave surfer Nic von Rupp.
‘That’s how I’ll keep him in my memory. Legend,’ von Rupp added.
Legendary Brazilian surfer Marcio Freire (pictured) died on Thursday while surfing on Portugal’s central coast
Tributes to Marcio Freire (pictured) from other surfers poured in on Instagram
Marcio Freire (pictured) was one of the three Brazilian surfers who became known as the ‘Mad Dogs’ after conquering the giant wave ‘Jaws’ in Hawaii
‘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…Rest in peace my friend,’ wrote sports photographer Fred Pompermayer.
Nazare boasts some of the biggest waves in the world. They are magnified by an underwater canyon three miles (five kilometres) deep which ends where the North Atlantic meets the shoreline near the former fishing village.
Hawaiian Garrett McNamara put Nazare on the map in 2011 when he set a world record for the biggest wave ever surfed at 78 feet (23.77 metres).
Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa bettered McNamara’s mark in 2017, also at Nazare, and German Sebastian Steudtner broke the record again there in 2020, surfing an 86-feet (26.21-metre) wave.
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