Jacob Trette, the Orange County surfer who nearly drowned at Maverick’s on Saturday, has reportedly emerged from his medically induced coma and is recovering at Stanford Medical Center.
The news was reported late Monday evening by fellow Maverick’s surfer David Westendorf, who grew up in Orange County near the Trette family.
Westendorf spoke on the phone with Jacob’s brother John, then passed the encouraging news out to his surfing friends via email. “He [John] asked me to pass along some terrific news to the Maverick’s clan. Jacob is alert, talking and recovering nicely. He remains at Stanford but will paddle on to many more swells..”
Trette’s brush with death (he’s the surfer on the green board above) was every big-wave surfer’s worst nightmare. After failing to get over the top of a massive cleanup set he was sucked backwards over the falls and pummeled. He resurfaced just in time to get pinned down by a few more waves that landed on his head. You can catch glimpses of his episode in the ABC News video below. A close look reveals his head bobbing in the whitewater in front of the second crashing wave. Ultimately he was knocked out, and his body was washed through the rocks inside.
A kayaker paddling near the channel inside was the first to spot Trette floating face up. Then photographer Russel Ord came across the pair while zipping toward shore on his Wave Runner with surfer Alex Bottello, another victim of the huge set. After getting Trette onto his rescue sled, Ord and Bottello raced him to shore where others helped with CPR efforts until firefighters arrived. After fire crews managed to get a pulse, Trette was airlifted to Stanford Medical Center, where he remained in critical condition until Monday.
All those involved in the rescue effort are being hailed as heroes.
Photo: Don Montgomery All Rights Reserved.