Nazare, Portugal, waves draw record-seeking surfer Carlos Burle, others

October 29, 2013 12:55:59 PM PDT
One brave surfer in Nazare, Portugal, conquered a history-making wave and saved a fellow surfer to boot.

On Monday, unbelievable waves hit the central Portuguese coastal town of Nazare making for record-breaking swells.

Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle, 46, took off on a monster wave, riding it all the way to the end. Initial estimates put the wave's height taller than 100 feet, likely making it a history maker. American Garrett McNamara set the current record in January at the same beach, of 100 feet.

Waves of this size only hit once a year. The impact feels like an earthquake, shaking under your feet. Powerful storms in the North Atlantic bring these impressive waves crashing ashore.

The breaking swells are not only astonishing to watch, they are incredibly dangerous. Fellow surfer Maya Gabriera nearly drowned in those waves. After emergency workers failed to grab Gabriera from the whitewater, Burle jumped into the water himself to rescue her. He performed CPR as he pulled her to safety. She tweeted a photo from the hospital where she is in good condition.

Officials from the Guinness Book of World Records will need to confirm Burle's wave height.

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