Andrew Cotton Breaks Back at Nazaré

Survives harrowing wipeout

What can I say, I got a little excited this morning and ending up having possibly the worst wipeout impact wise of my life. Thank you to all the lifeguards and crew on the beach who helped stabilise me and do a great spinal recovery, I can't name everyone but you all did your bit to get me safely to the hospital . Obviously huge shout out to the team: @mcnamara_s for the waves, @hugovau for rescue, company and laughs in the hospital and @polvo32 for the calls on the radio and friendship . I have broken my back but I've been really lucky, I'm already looking forward and focusing my energy to get fit and back out there on some more big rollers ! 🌊🙌🏽🇵🇹 • Footage comes from Wednesday while @go_dids was filming a documentary about @mcnamara_s's return to big wave surfing, produced by @polikromia

A post shared by Andrew Cotton (@andrew_cotty) on

British surfer Andrew Cotton suffered a broken back after a horrendous wipeout at Nazaré on Wednesday. Despite his injuries, the North Devon-based charger and part-time plumber seemed in good spirits in a long post to his Instagram account, writing that he felt "very lucky," and promised an eventual return to the lineup. In the same post, he called the misadventure "the worst wipeout of [his] life."

After taking off on a monstrous left and fading a bottom turn before attempting to avert the wave's heaving lip, Cotton is clearly at the mercy of the beast, which launches him up and out seemingly 30 yards before a mountain of whitewater once again overtakes him.

Cotton was among many of the world's best big-wave riders in Portugal on Wednesday, including Garrett McNamara. Cotton was rescued by lifeguards with the help of other surfers in the water, then stabilized and taken to the hospital.

"Thank you to all the lifeguards and crew on the beach who helped stabilise [sic] me and do a great spinal recovery," Cotton wrote in his Instagram post. "I can't name everyone but you all did your bit to get me safely to the hospital."

Hours after the wipeout, Cotton was already planning his comeback, adding to the post, "I'm already looking forward and focusing my energy to get fit and back out there on some more big rollers."

Below is Cotton’s Instagram caption in full:

What can I say, I got a little excited this morning and ending up having possibly the worst wipeout impact wise of my life. Thank you to all the lifeguards and crew on the beach who helped stabilise me and do a great spinal recovery, I can't name everyone but you all did your bit to get me safely to the hospital . Obviously huge shout out to the team: @mcnamara_s for the waves, @hugovau for rescue, company and laughs in the hospital and @polvo32 for the calls on the radio and friendship . I have broken my back but I've been really lucky, I'm already looking forward and focusing my energy to get fit and back out there on some more big rollers !