Tranquil is not a word to describe Nazaré. With brutal storms and monstrous waves along its Atlantic coastline, this tiny Portuguese fishing village is the favourite site for daredevil surfers.

World records have been repeatedly broken here. The American Garrett McNamara’s quest to conquer Nazaré’s awesome 100ft swells was chronicled in a hit HBO series. However, equally awesome are the wipeouts, and the fact no one has been killed here has been credited to the safety teams on the beach, and also large doses of blind luck.

This week, blind luck appeared to be on the side of CJ Macias, an American, when he was buried by a giant wave churned up during the biggest storm of the season. As he hit the water, an