47-Year-Old Brazilian Big Wave Surfer Dies At Nazaré - Stab Mag

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47-Year-Old Brazilian Big Wave Surfer Dies At Nazaré

Rest in Peace, Márcio Freire.

news // Jan 5, 2023
Words by Stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

Nazaré took its first life today. 

It was a sunny, warm day with light offshore wind. The swell was roughly 10 feet at 14 seconds, which translated to large (but not quite XXL) waves — one source on the beach today called it 15-foot backs/30-foot faces. A healthy mix of paddle and tow surfers were tackling it throughout the day. Unfortunately, one of them passed away. 

We’re told that 47-year-old Márcio Freire paddled into a wave, fell, and had an extraordinarily long hold-down. He was said to be wearing a standard impact vest, but not an inflatable one. A rescue alarm was recorded at 4:16 PM local time. Resuscitation efforts were made on the beach, but he was in a state of cardiorespiratory arrest and declared dead on the spot. It was the first surf-related casualty at Nazaré.

Márcio, mad-dogging at Jaws. Photo: Wangdu Hovey/WSL

While not a household name, Márcio Freire was well-known and widely respected throughout the big wave community. He began frequenting Maui in 1998, at the age of 23. Freire, Danilo Couto, and Yuri Soledade earned the nickname the “Mad Dogs” for their fearless efforts at Jaws and beyond. 

We’re told that today’s session was Márcio’s first big wave session after a four-year hiatus. 

Our hearts are with his friends and family. 


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