British surfer wiped out by giant 50-foot wave, breaks back

Pro surfer Andrew Cotton got a back injury while surfing in Portugal, after a massive wave crashed down on him.


NSFW    NAZARE, PORTUGAL — Shocking video footage shows the dramatic moment a British surfer gets wiped out by a colossal wave.

The Telegraph reports that plumber-turned-pro-surfer Andrew Cotton is obsessed with riding the world's largest waves. But the 36-year-old certainly met his match while surfing in Nazare, Portugal, where the seas churn out waves as high as 80 feet.

Cotton was zipping along fine initially, but couldn't outrun a 50-foot wall of water that soon came crashing down. He was thrown off his board and swallowed by the wave, but then got spit back out and landed in the water back-first.

The Brit suffered a painful spinal disc fracture in his lower back, but was fortunately rescued from the water. He was loaded onto a spinal board and rushed to the hospital, where he's currently recovering.

He doesn't need surgery, but does require a body brace to help him move around. It'll take time for him to heal completely, but no doubt Cotton is already itching to catch his next big wave.
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