Surfer dubbed ‘Mad Dog’ dies while trying to ride ‘biggest wave in the world' on hunt for 50ft swells off Portugal | The Sun

Surfer dubbed ‘Mad Dog’ dies while trying to ride ‘biggest wave in the world' on hunt for 50ft swells off Portugal | The Sun

A BRAZILIAN surfer has died while attempting to conquer the world's biggest wave off Portugal.

Daredevil Marcio Freire, known as Mad Dog, drowned while trying to search for a mega-swell off Nazaré – where staggering 50ft waves have been known to rise above a three-mile-deep underwater canyon.


According to The Guardian, the tragedy took place at around 4:15 pm yesterday off Portugal’s Silver Coast.

Freire was killed when he was thrown from his board while surfing the Atlantic waves, rated one of the sport's most terrifying challenges.

The 47-year-old was brought out of the water to shore by support staff, but sadly could not be revived.

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.

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“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.”

The Nazaré canyon is located just off the eastern Atlantic coast, is 170km long and 5km deep.

According to the local maritime agency, Freire was a veteran surfer who lived in Hawaii for 20 years.

Tributes have flooded in for the legendary surfer who was one of three leading Brazilian surfers featured in the 2016 documentary Mad Dogs, about their attempt to tackle the monstrous ‘Jaws’ waves in Hawaii.

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Nic Von Rupp, a fellow surfer, wrote on Instagram: “Today we lost one of ours. 

“Always had loads of respect for Marcio as one of the paddle pioneers at Jaws, today I saw him surf in Nazaré with a huge smile… with that smile is how I’m going to remember him.”

Sports photographer Fred Pompermayer said: “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.”

Local reports stated that sea conditions were not particularly dangerous on the day of the incident, and although several accidents have taken place at the surfing spot, none had been fatal until Thursday.

This follows the story of a tragic death that took place at a popular Aukland beach on December 17, 2022.

Emergency services were called to Muriwai Beach on Aukland's west coast after a young male surfer was smashed against the rocks by the waves while surfing.

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The man was found after a boat crew saw his surfboard while attending to other surfers.

He was brought back to the beach but tragically could not be revived when the surf lifesavers reached him.

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