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A British surfer is considering himself lucky to be alive after wiping out on a massive wave off the coast of Nazare, Portugal, this week.

“What can I say? I got a little excited this morning and ending up having possibly the worst wipeout impact-wise of my life,” 36-year-old Andrew Cotton wrote on Instagram on Thursday, a day after the incident.

“I can’t name everyone, but you all did your bit to get me safely to the hospital,” Cotton wrote on social media from his hospital bed. “I have broken my back but I’ve been really lucky. I’m already looking forward and focusing my energy to get fit and back out there on some more big rollers.”

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