Big wave surfer Alex Botelho has been rushed to hospital after a serious accident at Nazare in Portugal.
The Portuguese surfer was competing in the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge on Tuesday at one of the most-feared breaks in the world.
He was being towed back to shore on the back of a jet-ski when he was sandwiched between two crashing waves.
Terrifying video shows an unconscious Botelho being thrown around by the huge waves before rescuers manage to retrieve him while face down in the water.
Onlookers rushed to his aid as he reached the beach before he was rushed to hospital.
"Alex Botelho was involved in a very serious incident during the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge," The World Surf League said in a statement after the incident.
"He was rushed to the hospital and is currently stable and conscious. We are wishing Alex a full and speedy recovery.”
Nazare’s the world’s most dangerous surf
Nazare is world-renowned for its massive and terrifying breaks.
"If you take Jaws, Puerto Escondido and Waimea shorebreak and put them all on steroids… you get Nazaré,” US surfer Garrett McNamara said recently.
This is the first time the Tow Challenge has been part of the World Surf League's Big Wave world tour.
It involves surfers being towed by jet-skis into massive breaks that are normally unreachable by paddling.
Surfing fans sent their well-wishes but many questioned the necessity of the dangerous event.
Yikes. It sounds like Portuguese surfer Alex Botelho suffered a serious wipe out. Had to be revived on the beach. WSL cut out the broadcast to not show the wipeout, which tells you how scary it was. https://t.co/JCUuy2Vsj3— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) February 11, 2020
Terrifying footage of a worst case scenario. https://t.co/b2NYCAZvYP— Men's Journal (@MensJournal) February 11, 2020
🤕 alex_botelho could use a pray right about now! Watching a friend float face-down unconscious on live tv is brutal, especially a really good guy like Alex who is one of the toughest watermen in the world. Nazaré… https://t.co/WLiLumx5WH— Shannon Reporting (@ShannonReports) February 11, 2020
After todays incident at Nazare with Alex Botelho we have to ask when is enough enough and will we have to watch someone die live on TV before @wsl draws a few lines in the sand.— CARVE Surfing Magazine (@CarveMag) February 11, 2020
Get well soon Alex. Big shout out to the safety teams.https://t.co/WeD88vbebS pic.twitter.com/xQczIwlY1b