Carlos Burle said he was surfing Monday at Praia do Norte, a beach known for large waves from Atlantic storm swells, when he caught the giant wave from the St. Jude storm, which killed at least 11 people across Europe early Monday, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.
Maya Gabeira, who was surfing with Burle, was knocked unconscious by strong waves and taken to a local hospital, where she was reported as doing well with a broken ankle.
"At one stage there was a bit of shouting and screaming. Everyone was so excited you know, and I was just shouting back at them, telling them that it's just another big day, that everyone had to stay focused," Burle said.
"It was luck. We never know when we will be catching the wave. I still hadn't surfed any wave and everyone had already had their rides. Maya almost died," Burle told Surfer Today. "For me, it was a big adrenaline moment to get back there after what happened."
Burle ended up riding a wave estimated at 100-feet-high. The Guinness World Record is held by Garret McNamara of Hawaii, who surfed a 78-foot wave at the same beach Nov. 1, 2011.
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