A drone captures dramatic footage of surfers caught in big waves in Portugal

The big waves that form off the coast of the resort town of Nazaré, Portugal are legendary for their size and power. In fact, some have exceeded 70 feet in height, including one that just might be the largest wave ever ridden. Usually, you have to surf those waters for yourself to truly understand just how dangerous they can be, although this video will demonstrate that point in a way that even non-surfers can appreciate.

The footage in the video was captured by drone back on February 16, just as the winter season in Nazaré was starting to wind down. It begins with professional surfer Alex Botelho attempting to catch a massive wave, but even he is soon overwhelmed. Knocked from his surfboard, Botelho scrambles to avoid getting crushed by another wave that soon follows behind the first, all of which is not uncommon in the world of big-wave surfing. What happened next made things truly scary.

As is typical for these types of situations, Botelho’s teammate Hugo Vau was stationed nearby on a jet ski, ready to lend a hand should the need arise. Seeing Botelho in trouble, Vau sprang into action, hoping to pull his friend to safety as quickly as possible. This doesn’t go quite as planned, however, and before long, another wave overwhelms both men, capsizing the jet ski in the process.

What follows is a couple of minutes of dramatic footage that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Botelho and Vau both dodge more waves as they struggle to not only gain control of the jet ski, but avoid getting injured themselves. Thankfully, neither man suffered any serious injury and made it back to shore in one piece. They can be seen at the end of the clip embracing each other warmly as a third surfer casually wanders up.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this kind of action at Nazaré, and it isn’t likely to be the last. Surfers like Botelho and Vau know what they are doing in the water and can navigate the dangers with ease. For those of us watching at home, however, it’s best to leave these kinds of activities to the professionals.