Big-wave surfer Garrett “G-Mac” McNamara suffered a scary wipeout at the famed Mavericks surf break in Central California on Thursday, skipping down the face of a towering wave and subsequently requiring emergency surgery.
McNamara, 48, had paddled into a wave that the San Francisco Chronicle reported as being between 40 and 50 feet tall when he lost his balance and went bouncing down the wave before being swallowed up by whitewash.
Shortly thereafter, McNamara was scooped up by rescuers and brought to shore, where he was rushed off to a local hospital and underwent arm and shoulder surgery, reportedly for a dislocated shoulder.
McNamara, who broke the Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever surfed, in 2011 in Portugal, was in the surf reportedly practicing for the Titans of Mavericks big-wave surfing contest, an annual event that, if conditions are right, brings together 24 of the world’s best big-wave surfers to rip the massive waves off California’s Half Moon Bay.
Jeff Clark, the man who first surfed Mavericks, told San Francisco’s CBS Local that Thursday’s conditions made it so even the slightest mistake could be life-threatening.
“The energy is just violent,” said Clark. “The bowl out in the [sic] Mavericks today [Thursday] is violent and, if you’re in the wrong place, you’re going to have to get rescued.”
After video of McNamara’s wipeout came out, multiple members of the surf community reached out to him to wish him a speedy recovery:
Garrett McNamara (mcnamara_s) at Maverick's today. Wishing him a speedy recovery after this… https://t.co/an4xm526Ue
— clark little (@clarklittle) January 8, 2016
McNamara has not yet responded to GrindTV’s request for comment on his injury.
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