British surfer breaks back in “horrendous” Nazaré wipeout

Daredevil British surfer Andrew Cotton fell foul of the dangers of Nazaré’s ‘monster waves’ earlier this week, suffering what his sport’s press has described as “a horrendous wipeout”.

In hospital now with a broken back, he is expected to make a pretty much full recovery, and is already posting over social media that he is focusing his energy “to get fit and back out there on some more big rollers.”

According to one of Cotton’s Instagram posts after the accident, if it hadn’t been for the expert help he received from lifeguards and crew on the beach, things could have been a lot worse.

The 36-year-old part-time plumber from North Devon posted that he felt “very lucky”, and has been posing for photographs alongside his rescuers and surf-mate, the legendary Garrett McNamara.

Footage of the moment on Wednesday when Cotton came a cropper shows the incredible challenges Nazaré surfers face when they go out and face those rollers (click here).

As the Independent explained, these ‘monster waves’ are among the largest in the world, due not only to the fact that they gather momentum from winds sweeping unhindered across the Atlantic, but because of Nazaré’s incredible underwater ravine – the largest in Europe, reaching depths in some points of three miles.

The result: waves that frequently top 100 foot – bringing daredevils like Andy Cotton to Nazaré time and time again.

According to reports, Cotton was here filming a documentary.

His legendary surfing mate Garrett McNamara gave him the ‘heaviest lip eject wipeout ever award”, posting on Facebook: “The animal, Andrew Cotty Cotton, one of my best friends one of the best people I know a beautiful beautiful mind a beautiful amazing human being. Andrew got hurt on this wave today, so everybody let’s focus on a speedy speedy recovery he says he’s fine just a little back injury nothing serious but we want to get that boy back in the water, so please everybody manifest focus and see him back in action in record time we love Cotty”

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