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Surfer hospitalized after Mavericks accident [Updated]

January 23, 2011 |  4:55 pm

A surfer remained hospitalized Sunday after he almost drowned at Mavericks surfing area near Half Moon Bay on Saturday, according to news reports and interviews with authorities.

GrindTV,  a surfing website, identified the surfer as Jacob Trette.

Paramedics called to the scene about 10 a.m. Saturday found a 30-year-old surfer who had been rescued and revived by surfers and an emergency medical technician, with the help of bystanders who were at the surf spot, said David Cosgrave, a battalion chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The surfer was flown out to Stanford University Medical Center. A spokesman at the hospital said he could not comment on the condition of the patient.

[Updated, 5:15 p.m.: A hospital spokesman said the surfer is in critical condition.]

Officials did not name the man Sunday. An Internet post from Frank Quirarte, a photographer who witnesses the incident, said the surfer had suffered a brain injury but was moving his arms and legs.

"They're lowering his body temp so he doesn't use as much oxygen and keeping him heavily sedated,” the post read. Too “early to tell how much damage has been done if any.”

A big-wave surf contest was planned for Saturday, but it appears to have been scrapped because waves weren’t high enough.  GrindTV reported that the surfers had moved closer to the shore because the waves were breaking more consistently in that location.

But a 25-foot wave took the pack of surfers by surprise. Video footage shows surfers trying to paddle over the wave, but several surfers were sucked in by the wave when it crashed down. The footage shows another monstrous wave striking a surfer identified as Trette.

Once the waves had cleared, Russell Ord, a photographer who was on a personal water craft, moved in to pull one surfer out of the water. As he was bringing the surfer toward shore, he came along Trette’s body floating face-up in the whitewater, according to GrindTV.

Ord jumped in and pulled Trette’s body onto the rescue sled attached to his vessel and brought him to shore.


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Photo: Nikki Brooks