Andrew Cotton survives four-wave hold down in Nazaré

December 8, 2014 | Surfing
Andrew Cotton: riding the enemy wave in Nazare

British big wave surfer Andrew Cotton suffered a dangerous wipeout in Praia do Norte, Nazare, when he was riding a 60-foot wave.

Andrew Cotton is happy to be alive. The 35-year-old surfer from Braunton, Devon, escaped a dramatic wipeout in Portuguese waters. After setting a surf line in a 60-foot giant, the Englishman was caught by a huge lip and fell.

Unfortunately for him, the nightmare didn't end. Enormous wave sets followed, and he couldn't be rescued by jet skis. The only solution was holding his breath.

"The next four waves broke on my head and it felt as though my arm had snapped with the pressure. Then I felt a shooting pain up my arm. The wipeout was intense but not that bad, although I was under for quite a long time, about 15 seconds," Cotton told the Daily Mail.

The footage is quite impressive. Cotton, father-of-two, struggles to keep afloat while massive walls of whitewater hit him consecutively. The British charger hyper-extended his arm but was able to leave the Nazare line-up without additional severe injuries.

"The natural instinct is to fight and swim to the surface, but that is the last thing you should do. You have to relax and go with it. Holding your breath is a complete mind game, everyone can hold their breath for a few minutes, but you have to stay calm and believe in yourself."

"If you start panicking, then your heart goes and you use more energy and oxygen. I just tell myself it will be alright. If you're not prepared to be in this kind of dangerous situations, then you shouldn't even be in the water," added Andrew Cotton.

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