In 2013, Gabeira nearly drowned at Nazaré in Portugal in one of the most devastating wipeouts ever witnessed. Attempting to claim the record for biggest wave surfed by a woman, she was eaten up at the bottom of an estimated 84ft beast, breaking her ankle on impact on the third massive bump while still on her board. Trapped under a set of waves, she lost consciousness.
“I lost her,” her Brazilian tow partner, big-wave rider Carlos Burlé said in an interview with Stab magazine. “She was gone for about five minutes. I finally saw her floating face-down in the shorebreak. I jumped off the Jet ski, grabbed her in an armlock, and we got to the beach that way. I don’t know how. They administered CPR immediately, and she started breathing.” CPR saved her life, but she had snapped her right fibula and herniated a disk in her lower back.
(Me: later she came back and got the record – “On February 11, 2020, Maya Gabeira set the Guinness World Record at the Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge in Portugal for surfing the largest wave ever ridden by a woman.” https://www.shape.com/fitness/trends/maya-gabeira-world-record-largest-wave-surfed-woman#:~:text=On%20February%2011,%202020,%20Maya,ever%20ridden%20by%20a%20woman.)