British surfer's 60-foot wipeout
A British surfer escaped with a minor arm injury after wiping out on a 60ft wave in Portugal while attempting to break a world record.
Andrew Cotton, 35, was at notorious big-wave spot Nazare, a quiet fishing village north of Lisbon, when he fell and lost his surfboard.
The father-of-two from Braunton in Devon was towed into a wave by a jet-ski, having already successfully ridden a wave in excess of 60 feet, but fell and found himself alone and treading water with a series of giant waves about to land on his head.
"The wipeout was intense but not that bad, although I was under for quite a long time, about 15 seconds," said Cotton.
"Because I was under so long, I surfaced behind my safety ski and within seconds faced a 60ft wave which broke directly in front of me. There was nothing the safety ski could do. He just couldn't get to me in time."
As the second wave approached, Cotton swam down and prepared for impact.
"This wave was a lot more violent, almost like being hit by a truck," he said, "I hyper-extended my right arm underwater, it felt like my arm had been pulled off. I was under for a long time on this one, too."
Cotton was eventually pulled to safety after he was hit by a third wave.
"Success in big wave surfing is often based on how you deal with wiping out in these life threatening waves," he said.
Cotton aims to be back in the water by mid-December in the hope he can beat the current world record for the biggest wave ever surfed, which was set at Nazare in 2011 with a wave measuring 78ft.
Video courtesy of Mikey Corker