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Brazilian surfer Marco “Mad Dog” Freire dies at Nazaré

6 January 23

Friday AEST: The 47-year-old has reportedly died from apparent cardiac arrest after an exceptionally long hold down. A former Ride of the Year nominee at Jaws, Freire was a highly experienced big wave surfer who’d been paddling-in earlier in the day but had switched to tow-in when the tragedy happened. He was wearing a standard non-inflatable impact vest. It was the first surf-related casualty at Nazaré.

As reported by Rueters:

LISBON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Veteran Brazilian surfer Marcio Freire died on Thursday while practising tow-in surfing on the giant waves in Nazare on the central coast of Portugal, the local maritime authority said.

Support staff on jet-skis managed to get the 47-year-old to the beach, but all attempts to revive him failed.

Freire was one of the three Brazilian surfers who became known as the "Mad Dogs" after conquering the giant wave Jaws in Hawaii. They featured in the 2016 documentary Mad Dogs.

Tributes from other surfers poured in on Instagram.

"He surfed all day with a big smile on his face. That's how I'll keep him in my memory. Legend," posted fellow big wave surfer Nic von Rupp.

"Today we lost a great man, a very good friend and a legendary surfer, Marcio Freire. He was such a happy spirit, always with a smile on his face... Rest in peace my friend," wrote sports photographer Fred Pompermayer.

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