Big-wave surfer Andrew Cotton suffers broken back from Nazaré wipeout; video

British big-wave surfer Andrew Cotton suffered a broken back during a horrific wipeout at famed big-wave spot Nazaré in Portugal on Wednesday.

Cotton was quickly rescued by lifeguards and other surfers, stabilizing his spine and getting him to the hospital in a speedy fashion.

In a post on Instagram, Cotton says he was actually lucky and speaks to his focus on getting back out there as soon as possible.

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

Cotton can be seen fading into the large mountain of water. Once it starts breaking it’s apparent Cotton isn’t going to make it around the section, so he decides to jump off his board before the whitewater gets him. And then moments later we see Cotton’s body catapulted outwards and in front of the whitewater.

Thankfully, Cotton survived this brutal wipeout, and while a broken back is certainly nothing to scoff at, it definitely could have been much worse.

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