Maracio Freire: Legendary surfer ‘Mad Dogs’ dies in huge Portuguese wave

Leg­endary Brazil­ian surfer Már­cio Freire has died while rid­ing a huge wave in Nazare, off the coast of Portugal.

The 47-year-old surfer fell dur­ing prac­tice on Thursday.

Freire is one of three Brazil­ian pio­neer surfers fea­tured in the 2016 doc­u­men­tary Mad Dogs, which aims to con­quer Hawai­i’s giant wave Jaws.

He moved to an Amer­i­can state to surf some of the biggest and most dan­ger­ous waves in the world.

Freire was surf­ing on a towin (a surfer­’s use of an arti­fi­cial assist, such as a jet ski, to catch a wave that trav­els faster than he could pad­dle by hand) when he report­ed­ly fell.

He was tak­en ashore and found in car­diopul­monary arrest by res­cuers, but he was unable to be resus­ci­tat­ed and was pro­nounced dead at the scene, the Por­tuguese Nation­al Mar­itime Author­i­ty said in a statement.

Freire was con­sid­ered a big wave pio­neer in surf­ing, trav­el­ing the world and rid­ing huge waves.

He was “no secu­ri­ty”. He was pure courage dri­ven by a desire to ride a huge wave,” quot­ed Surfer Today in Mad Dogs.

The risk was too great with­out being “safe” enough. If an acci­dent hap­pens, the trip ends.

“We weren’t forced to do any­thing. It’s all for our­selves, for our own satisfaction.”

Trib­utes abound­ed on social media, begin­ning with fel­low big wave surfer Nick von Rupp pay­ing trib­ute to Freire on his Insta­gram story.

“Today we lost one of our friends. As one of the pio­neers of pad­dle­board­ing at Jaws, I always had a lot of respect for Mar­cio. was watching

“That smile” remains in my memory.

Fel­low Brazil­ian surfer Thi­a­go Jacare also took to Insta­gram to praise his friend, call­ing him “more than an idol” and a “true hero.”

The place where Freire died boasts some of the world’s largest and dead­liest waves, caused by the Nazaré Canyon on the ocean floor off the coast of Portugal.

In Octo­ber 2020, it was also in Nazareth that Ger­man surfer Sebas­t­ian Stot­ner set the world record for the biggest wave ever.

There have been a few acci­dents before, but no fatal­i­ties until Thursday.

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