Tributes have been paid to a veteran surfer who has died while riding waves in Portugal.
Marcio Freire, 47, from Brazil, died while surfing the giant breakers off Nazare, on the country’s central coast, on Thursday.
Support staff on jet-skis managed to get him to the beach, but all attempts to revive him failed.
The National Maritime Authority said: “A 47-year-old man of Brazilian nationality died this afternoon after falling while practising surfing in Praia do Norte.
“The rescuers found that the victim was in cardio-respiratory arrest, immediately starting resuscitation manoeuvres on the sand.
“After several attempts, it was not possible to reverse the situation.”
Freire had been practising tow-in surfing, where surfers use artificial assistance to help catch faster moving waves than was traditionally possible when paddling by hand.
He was one of three Brazilian surfers immortalised in a 2016 documentary, Mad Dogs, about their attempts to conquer a giant wave known as Jaws, off Hawaii.
Tributes from other surfers appeared on Instagram.
Fellow big wave surfer Nic von Rupp posted: “He surfed all day with a big smile on his face. That’s how I’ll keep him in my memory. Legend.”
Sports photographer Fred Pompermayer wrote: “Today we lost a great man, a very good friend and a legendary surfer, Marcio Freire. He was such a happy spirit, always with a smile on his face…Rest in peace my friend.”
Nazare, lying on the east Atlantic coast, boasts some of the biggest waves in the world.
They are magnified by an underwater canyon three miles (5km) deep and 105 miles (170km) long, which ends where the North Atlantic meets the shoreline near the former fishing village.
US surfer Garrett McNamara put Nazare on the map in 2011 when he set a world record for the biggest wave ever surfed at 78ft (23.77m).
Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa bettered McNamara’s mark in 2017, also at Nazare, and German Sebastian Steudtner broke the record again there in 2020, surfing an 86ft (26.21m) wave.
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