Andrew Cotton: Surfer who broke back on 60-foot waves returns to the water

Andrew Cotton: Surfer who broke back during wipeout returns to the waves

A surfer who broke his back wiping out on a 60-foot wave has returned to the water for the first time.

Andrew Cotton, 38, has spent seven months recovering from the injuries he suffered at Nazare in Portugal.

Cotton, who is a professional surfer, returned to the more tame conditions at Croyde, near his North Devon home, as he began on waves of around two feet.

"It's like starting all over again, I feel like when I used to go surfing when I was 13," he told BBC South West.

Despite wearing a special protective vest, Cotton still fractured part of his lumbar spine in Portugal in November and has gone through seven months of hospital treatment, land training and physiotherapy.

And despite the pain that he has gone through, he is still determined to return to the big waves of Nazare.

"Deep down I've not said I'm not going to go back, but it's one step at a time," he added.

"It's good to be back in the water, and the next goal now is get back to Nazare and some big waves."

Andrew Cotton: Surfer who broke back on 60-foot wave vows to return to the water