Andrew Cotton before his accident off of Portugal
Octavio Passos/Getty
November 09, 2017 12:31 PM

A British surfer broke his back on Wednesday after a 50-foot wave crashed down on him and threw him off his board.

The accident, which was captured by a film crew, has since been viewed thousands of times.

Andrew Cotton was surfing the waves off of Nazare in Portugal, an area where waves can reach 80 feet, according to The Telegraph.

Miraculously, the 36-year-old who is known for having surfed the world’s biggest wave at Praia do Norte near Nazare, has been given a good prognosis from doctors as he recovers in a Portuguese hospital.

The former plumber and lifeguard, who said he already plans to return to surf in that same region, posted a video on Instagram of his wipeout, letting his fans know that he was recovering.

“I got a little excited this morning and ending up having possibly the worst wipe-out impact wise of my life,” he wrote. “Thank you to all the lifeguards and crew on the beach who helped stabilize me and do a great spinal recovery.”

Cotton’s wife, Katie, told the outlet that she had been in Portugal with her husband and their two children, but returned home last week. She said she had a sleepless night after learning about his fall, but knew he would already be thinking about when he could return to the water.

Andrew Cotton
Andrew Cotton/Twitter

“He’s had an MRI scan and X-rays, he’s got a break in his lower back. It seems like there is a good prognosis for a rapid recovery,” she told The Telegraph. “We have a really good team of support people, and we all feel like he’s got good people and contact with him but we just want to get him home.”

She added: “I know that all he will be thinking about is when he can get back in the water. Although it’s the worst thing that could happen to most people, to him its just part of what he does. It’s amazing really, he trains very hard for it.”

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