Surfer Jacob Trette is in critical condition at the Stanford Medical Center after wiping out while surfing a giant wave Saturday at the site where the Mavericks surfing competition is held. This post by the San Francisco Surf Company’s Cyrus Sataaz on the Chronicle’s City Brights blog includes a good account of the accident. also talked to people involved in the competition that day.

River O’Mahoney Hagg was one of those unlucky enough to be caught inside. “It was a big, clean-up set, everyone was inside,” he says. “I was pretty close to that kid. We were both paddling to get over it, but neither of us made it. I had a two-wave hold down and a broken board. Once on shore, we got him on his side and the water started coming out, he was still snoring.” Hagg was one who helped while waiting for paramedics.

ESPN has put together a frame-by-frame breakdown of the mammoth wave and accident, and KTVU has raw video. It’s disturbing to watch but quite frankly hard to turn away from.

Click on photo for video.

Mark Foo, a professional surfer from Hawaii, died at Mavericks in 1994.


Update 12:45 p.m. KQED’s Dan Brekke notes that

  • Dan Brekke

    Terrible accident and amazing work by those on the scene to give this guy even a remote chance at survival (one of the accounts you link to, on Surfline, mentions a “two-wave hold down.” That means the witness quoted, as well as the victim, were essentially pinned underwater for the time it took two subsequent waves to pass. Amazing).

    Note that the big-wave contest, now called The Jay at Mavericks, was NOT held this weekend. See:

  • Kim

    Where is the Mavericks surfing video on KTVU?
    Don’t you check the URLs you post on your website?


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor for KQED's daily health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED News Fix.

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