Tributes have been paid to a veteran surfer who died while riding the waves in Portugal.

Marcio Freire, 47, from Brazil, died Thursday while surfing the giant breakers near Nazare, on the country’s central coast.

Rescue crews on jet skis managed to get him to the beach, but all efforts to revive him failed.

The National Maritime Authority said: “A 47-year-old Brazilian man died this afternoon after falling while practicing surfing at Praia do Norte.

“Rescuers realized that the victim was in cardiorespiratory arrest, and immediately began resuscitation measures on the sand.

“After several attempts, it was not possible to reverse the situation.”

Freire was practicing two-in surfing, where surfers use artificial aids to catch faster-moving waves than is traditionally possible when paddling by hand.

He was one of three Brazilian surfers immortalized in a 2016 documentary, Mad Dogs, about their attempts to conquer a giant wave known as Jazz off Hawaii.

Tributes from other surfers appeared on Instagram.

FILE PHOTO: A surfer catches a wave in Praia do Norte, Nazare, Portugal on February 25, 2022.  REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File photo
Image:
A surfer makes waves in Praia do Norte, Nazare, Portugal in 2022. File photo

Fellow Big Wave surfer Nick Von Rupp posted: “He surfs all day with a big smile on his face. That’s how I’ll remember him. Legend.”

Sports photographer Fred Pompermire wrote: “Today we lost a great man, a great friend and a legendary surfer, Marceau Freire. He was such a happy soul, always with a smile on his face… Rest in peace my friend.” Stay away.”

Located on the eastern Atlantic coast, it boasts some of the biggest waves in the world.

They are extended by an underwater canyon three miles (5 km) deep and 105 miles (170 km) long, which meets the North Atlantic coast where it ends near a former fishing village.

American surfer Garrett McNamara put Nazare on the map in 2011 when he set the world record for the largest wave ever surfed at 78 feet (23.77 m).

Brazil’s Rodrigo Coxa bettered McNamara’s mark in 2017, also in Nazare, and German Sebastian Staudner broke the record again in 2020, surfing an 86-foot (26.21 m) wave.



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