An example of the power of Mavericks.
An example of the power of Mavericks.
Wikipedia Commons

[UPDATED: Recovered, Back in OC] San Clemente Surfer In Critical Condition After Hold-Down While Surfing Maverick's

UPDATE, JAN. 27, 2:40 P.M.: Jacob Trette is walking and talking the way he was before the frightening multiple-wave hold-down at Maverick's, a big-wave surf break near San Francisco.

He was released from Stanford Medical Center yesterday, according to, and is at his parents' home in Capistrano Beach.

"I'm feeling pretty good, but I'm feeling a little bit light-headed, but I feel like I'm still normal," Trette told the Bay Citizen. "I was pretty fatigued and had lots of headaches, but I recovered in five days. The doctors were really surprised."

UPDATE, JAN. 25, 1:30 P.M.: "It's a miracle," the brother of Jacob Trette told The Orange County Register. Despite the initial belief that Trette would have severe brain damage following his hold-down at Maverick's, hospital spokesmen have said the San Clemente surfer (his hometown was misidentified yesterday) should have a full recovery.

Beginning Tuesday morning, Trette showed drastic improvement: coming out of the medically induced coma, showing normal vital signs, moving his legs and speaking.

Trette's brother, Bobby, also indicated to the Register that Jacob has no memory of the accident.

ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 24, 10:28 a.m.: By Saturday morning, the swell that had hit Hawaii and almost enabled "The Eddie" to run had made its way to California and was producing 12-to-15-foot waves at Maverick's, a big-wave spot at Half Moon Bay, near Monterey. By Maverick's and big-wave standards, the conditions were almost playful.

Around 9:45 a.m., according to a photographer who was on the cliffs, a larger set rolled toward the break, catching many of the surfers by surprise. The set measured close to 25 feet. Among those caught off guard was 30-year-old Jacob Trette of Laguna Beach San Clemente.

As Trette and a dozen other surfers tried to paddle over the wave, several, including Trette, were caught by the breaking face and sucked backward, over the falls. 

It's believed Trette was held under for two more waves before being discovered floating motionless on the inside of the bay. An Australian photographer--who's also a firefighter--Russell Ord was the only individual on a Jetski--Personal Watercrafts (PWC) were banned in 2008 from Monterey Bay--and brought Trette to shore, where he was treated by other surfers until medical help arrived. He was airlifted to Stanford Medical Center, where he is currently in critical condition.

According to a KTLA report, Trette suffered no broken bones or any blunt-force injuries, but doctors are concerned he may have suffered brain damage due to the amount of time without oxygen. Doctors put Trette into a medically induced coma.

Below is footage of the wave from CNN. Trette is one of the paddlers on the far right of the screen, seen just before the wave breaks:


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >