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Marcio Freire passed away while surfing at Nazaré.

Marcio Freire passed away while surfing at Nazaré. Photo: Instagram@marciofreiremaddog

The Inertia

According to reports, Marcio Freire, a talented Brazilian big wave surfer, has died while surfing at Nazaré. He was 47 years old.

Portuguese media outlets are reporting that Freire paddled out at Nazaré and caught a few waves under his own power. With the swell rising, he decided to switch to towing in the afternoon. wrote that he wasn’t wearing an inflatable vest, instead opting for a floatation style vest. At around 4:15 p.m., he caught a wave, wiped out, and lost consciousness. Lucas Chumbo was able to grab him and bring him to the beach, where rescuers immediately began resuscitation attempts. Sadly, their attempts were unsuccessful and he died on the beach.

“Unfortunately, none of the life support maneuvers were successful,” said Mário Lopes Figueiredo, the Port Captain in Nazaré, “and death was eventually declared on the spot.”

Freire was not a novice by any means. He was a well-known, well-rounded, and well-liked surfer with multiple Big Wave Award nominations, most notably at Jaws, a place he helped pioneer. In 2015, he was nominated for Wipeout of the Year on a wave that showed how committed he was.

This is the first surfing death at Nazaré, despite many close calls. Maya Gabeira famously almost met her fate there in 2013. More recently, Andrew Cotton broke his back there in 2017. Freire’s death will shake the big wave community hard, and it should serve as another reminder that safety in the big wave world should remain paramount.

“Today we lost one of ours,” wrote Nic von Rupp. “Always had loads of respect for Marcio as one of the paddle pioneers at Jaws. Today I saw him surf all day at Nazaré with a huge smile… with that smile is how I’m going to remember him.”

Our sincerest condolences go out to Freire’s friends, family, and anyone affected by his passing.


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