A veteran Brazilian surfer Marcio Freire died on Thursday when he was practicing tow-in surfing on the massive waves in Nazare located on the coast’s central part of Portugal the local authorities for maritime said.
The jet-ski-powered support team was able to bring the 47-year-old down on the shore, however every attempt to revive his life was unsuccessful.
Freire was among three Brazilian surfers that became known in the popular media as “Mad dogs” after overcoming the massive waves of “Jaws” on the island of Hawaii. They were featured in the documentary 2016 Mad Dogs.
The tributes of other surfing friends streamed onto Instagram.
“He was surfing all day long with an enormous smile in his eyes. That’s the way I’ll keep his name in my mind. Legendary,” posted fellow big surfer Nic von Rupp.
“Today the world lost a wonderful man, a wonderful acquaintance and legendary surfer, Marcio Freire. He was such a cheerful spirit and always had a smile on his face…Rest in peace, my dear buddy,” the sports photographer Fred Pompermayer.
Nazare is home to one of the largest waves anywhere in the world. They are amplified through an underwater canyon of 5 km (3 miles) deep that ends at the point where Nazare’s North Atlantic meets the shoreline close to the former fishing village.
Hawaiian Garrett McNamara put Nazare on the map in the year 2011 when he set the world record for the highest wave ever ridden with a height of 78ft (23.77 meters).
Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa bettered McNamara’s record in 2017 at Nazare, and German Sebastian Steudtner broke the record in Nazare again in 2020, riding an 86-foot wave.