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Nazaré can be an incredibly dangerous place to surf. When things go wrong there, they can go really wrong, really fast. Some of the best safety crews on Earth are there on big swells, and they’ve likely saved countless lives. And recently, it’s likely they saved Andrew Cotton’s. Bruno Delphino was on the cliff, filming.

“This is one of the closest calls I’ve ever seen in Nazaré,” said Nic von Rupp, a man who has seen a lot of close calls at Nazaré. “Wiping out in front of the rocks on a big, stormy day is the worst thing that can happen. I really think there is only a 10 percent chance of surviving a situation like this.”

Cotton, who is no stranger to Nazaré, found himself in a very bad position: in front of the rocks on a big, stormy day. The harrowing video shows just how powerful the water is there — and just how good at rescues the crews out there are.

“Really wild conditions in Nazaré from storm Barra,” Cotty wrote. “It went from not even wanting to surf, to ‘okay, I’ll get one and feel it out’, to having one of those situations that make you glad you’ve been putting in the hours training so hard and lucky enough to be surrounded by the best watermen in the world.”

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