Surfer: “Mother Nature Gave Me a Right Cross”

A photographer/firefighter from Australia came to the OC surfer's rescue after he was battered by waves at Mavericks

A surfer who was rescued after he was thrashed by two large waves says he might "give Mavericks a rest."

OC surfer Jake Trette, who has been surfing since he was 4, was pulled from the water Jan. 22 after a near-drowning at the famed Northern California surf spot. Monday on TODAY, he spoke with the Australian man who pulled him from the water.

"Thanks, buddy," Trette, 30, said to photographer Russell Ord, who also is a trained firefighter.

That Saturday, waves were average-sized by Mavericks standards, maybe 15-to-18 foot surf, Ord said. Then, a rogue set estimated at about 25 feet appeared on the horizon.

"It's the most dangerous spot," said Trette. "Everything about it, it's just kind of creepy.

"Everyone was just like super-scared. My eyes were popping out of my head. I was caught right at the top -- the worst place you want to be."

Trette was hurled off his board and slammed by a second massive wave. That's when Trette was knocked unconscious.

"Just a face full of water, that's all I remember," he said. "It was like Mother Nature gave me a right cross, like Mike Tyson punched me in the face."

Ord raced on a personal watercraft to rescue Trette. Ord said the only signs of life were small coughs from Trette.

"I could not believe he had a pulse when we dragged him up on the beach," Ord said.

Trette was airlifted to a hospital and placed in a coma to slow his brain's need for oxygen. He was admitted in critical condition, but released later last week.

"I might give Mavericks a rest," Trette, the father of a 4-year-old boy, said.


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