Terrifying accident overshadows surfing tournament

Big wave surfer Alex Botelho of Portugal was rushed to hospital on Tuesday (February 11) after being involved in a serious accident during the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge. Clip courtesy of worldsurfleague.com.

Botelho was being towed back to shore on the back of a jet ski but was caught amid colliding waves, which flipped the jet ski high into the air. He was washed into shore unconscious where dozens of rescue staff rushed to his aid. He was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital.

Tuesday's event featured 10 teams comprised of two athletes, alternating between surfing and driving the team's ski. Each team competed twice in hour-long heats with a priority system to ensure all riders were able to catch sizable waves.

Hawaii's Kai Lenny claimed the men's wave of the day. While France's Justine Dupont captured the women's title. Lenny and teammate Lucas Chianca of Brazil won the team competition.