WATCH: Heroic Rescue of Big Wave Surfer Alex Botelho

Alex Botelho

Getty Portuguese big wave surfer Alex Botelho during a surf session in Nazare, Portugal.

Big wave surfer Alex Botelho was involved in a horrific accident during the World Surf League’s (WSL) Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge in Portugal. The Portuguese pro surfer was competing in the tow surfing challenge when he wiped out on a wave. His jet-ski partner Hugo Vau was able to rescue him, but on their way back to shore the jet-ski was caught between two massive waves and went flying.

The terrifying incident was all caught on the live broadcast of the WSL event. The footage shows both men getting swept off the jet-ski and disappearing under a barrage of waves.

The video of the event is available below.
Alex Botelho Survives Jet Ski Incident at 2020 WSL Nazaré Tow Surfing ChallengeBig Wave Surfer Alex Botelho was involved in a very serious incident during the Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge. He was rushed to the hospital and we now have an update on his condition. Currently, he is stable and conscious. He will stay at the hospital for further evaluation. A heartfelt thank you to the safety and medical teams for their quick response. We are wishing Alex a full and speedy recovery. The work of the Water Safety Team in rescuing and saving Alex's life was incredible. #WSL For More WSL videos check out: The Best of John John Florence…EVER! – WSL Highlights – https://youtu.be/r3IcMTzLh_8 Top 10 Moments of the 2019 Championship Tour – WSL Highlights – https://youtu.be/N7sEi5uEFv8 Sound Waves: Gabriel Medina, Portugal – https://youtu.be/dTNaB8Vtmok Volcom Pipe Pro, Connor Coffin's 10, Mark Healey's Waimea Left | SURF BREAKS – https://youtu.be/Ac9YFxWsq2g Save The Shark, Mick Fanning's New Documentary | SURF BREAKS – https://youtu.be/hJKIqEkBK98 Shark Attacks Mick Fanning at the J-Bay Open 2015 – https://youtu.be/xrt27dZ7DOA Road to the Highline, Presented by Corona & WSL – https://youtu.be/r30aCbvuHxk Sound Waves: Kyuss King, Hawaiian Pro – https://youtu.be/To52xmKgcb0 Subscribe to the WSL for more action: https://goo.gl/VllRuj Subscribe to the WSL for more action: https://goo.gl/VllRuj Watch all the latest surfing action of the world's best surfers in the world's best waves. Heats on demand, event highlights and exclusive interviews, right here on the WSL's Youtube channel. For More Visit: http://www.worldsurfleague.com/ Like the WSL on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wslFollow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wslFollow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/wsl2020-02-12T02:15:02.000Z

The water safety team was quick to respond, getting to Botelho as he lay facedown in the water and bringing him safely to shore. At this point, Botelho was placed on a spinal board and brought to the hospital.


Alex Botelho Is ‘Stable & Conscious’ After Jetski Wipeout

The WSL posted on Instagram, saying “Big Wave Surfer @alex_botelho was involved in a very serious incident during the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge. He was rushed to the hospital and we now have an update on his condition. Currently, he is stable and conscious. He will stay at the hospital for further evaluation.” The post continued, “A heartfelt thank you to the safety and medical teams for their quick response. We are wishing Alex a full and speedy recovery.”

At the end of the event, surfers voted to give the top award to the water safety team, the Jogos Santa Casa Commitment Award.

Botelho’s fellow Portuguese pro surfer Nic von Rupp posted on Instagram his reaction to Botelho’s crash, saying “Today I was confronted with the reality of our sport, heartbreaking watching my brother @alex_botelho between life and death right infront of the eyes of the world.”


Nazare, Portugal Is a World-Class Spot for Big Wave Surfing

Because of the presence of the underwater Nazare Canyon, this stretch of ocean is known around the world for its high breaking waves perfect for big wave surfing. The record for the largest wave ever surfed was set in Nazare, by the Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa. On November 8, 2017, Koxa surfed a 24.38 meter wave (80 feet), as recorded by the Guinness World Records.

Here’s a useful video from the World Surf League explaining the Nazare Big Wave Tow Surfing Challenge, the tournament that Botelho was surfing in when this incident occurred.
Nazaré Big Wave Tow Surfing Challenge Explained | GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS COULD BE BROKEN?!This season, the WSL will present the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge Presented by Jogos Santa Casa. This is the first, team-oriented big wave tow-in event in the league's history. This event is scheduled to take place on February 11th. We're talking Guinness World Records potentially being broken, severe wipeouts and daring feats of water rescue. And, unique to this event, the final results will be determined by an athlete-led judging panel. Four honors will be awarded at the end of the day: -Men's Wave of the Day -Women's Wave of the Day -Team Champions -The Jogos Santa Casa Commitment Award Later that evening at an athlete reception, the day's top performances will be shown on the big screen, and each competitor will privately vote for their favorites. The final voting tally will determine the winners, as judged by their elite, heavy-water peers. The contest window runs through the end of March 31st, 2020. So get ready to go big. Here's how it works: 19 big wave surfers from around the globe – 17 men and two women – will be paired up in tow teams. They will compete in a four-hour expression session with no elimination, and an option to run longer if conditions are right. The session will feature a rotating heat format and priority system that keeps five teams in the water at all times. Each tow team will get two, one-hour heats to whip each other into waves of mind-boggling heights. For More WSL videos check out: The Best of John John Florence…EVER! – WSL Highlights – https://youtu.be/r3IcMTzLh_8 Top 10 Moments of the 2019 Championship Tour – WSL Highlights – https://youtu.be/N7sEi5uEFv8 Sound Waves: Gabriel Medina, Portugal – https://youtu.be/dTNaB8Vtmok Volcom Pipe Pro, Connor Coffin's 10, Mark Healey's Waimea Left | SURF BREAKS – https://youtu.be/Ac9YFxWsq2g Save The Shark, Mick Fanning's New Documentary | SURF BREAKS – https://youtu.be/hJKIqEkBK98 Shark Attacks Mick Fanning at the J-Bay Open 2015 – https://youtu.be/xrt27dZ7DOA Road to the Highline, Presented by Corona & WSL – https://youtu.be/r30aCbvuHxk Sound Waves: Kyuss King, Hawaiian Pro – https://youtu.be/To52xmKgcb0 #WSL Subscribe to the WSL for more action: https://goo.gl/VllRuj Watch all the latest surfing action of the world's best surfers in the world's best waves. Heats on demand, event highlights and exclusive interviews, right here on the WSL's Youtube channel. For More Visit: http://www.worldsurfleague.com/ Like the WSL on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wsl Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wsl Follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/wsl2020-02-09T17:30:04.000Z

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