You may catch yourself holding your breath the entire time.
Surfing is a skill that not everyone possesses. It takes an incredible amount of core strength, stamina and swimming ability to be able to paddle out into the ocean for a few-minute ride on a wave. But no matter how good someone is at the sport, falling off of the board is just part of the process. The majority of the time, a rescue isn't needed when an experienced surfer takes a tumble, but sometimes surfers need a little help.
Veteran surfer Salvador Villas-Boas was catching waves in Nazaré, Portugal, when he got bumped off of his board and tossed into the water near rocks. Probably not something Villas-Boas is unaccustomed to, but on this day, the waves were huge and he had seconds to get out of the way before a ginormous 100-foot wave came crashing down on top of him.
A wave that large could easily be deadly, but lucky for Villas-Boas, professional jet ski rescuer Ramon Laureano was nearby, ready to swoop in and grab the surfer to pull him to safety. The entire dramatic rescue was caught on video.
In the video, Villas-Boas sort of bobs in the water as the wave begins to swell. Within what feels like a split second, Laureano appears on his jet ski grabbing Villas-Boas' hand to quickly guide him to the back of the watercraft. Tension builds as the wave continues to get bigger behind the two men, but as soon as Villas-Boas is holding on to the jet ski, Laureano takes off. The 100-foot wave is towering over the men who are now in a race against the clock.
The deadly wave crashes down on the men as Villas-Boas flops and tosses, holding on for dear life while the jet ski driver throttles full speed. The intense rescue only lasts a few minutes and ends with the jet ski overturned and the men swimming the rest of the way.
“With more than 20 years of big wave experience, Ramon performed one of the most difficult rescues one can attempt in Nazaré. To pick up someone directly on the first peak’s impact zone between waves is something you don’t see every day here. Ramon was a real hero, no doubt," Pedro Miranda, who recorded the moment, remarked according to Greek Reporter.
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