Nazare jet-ski driver Sergio Cosme rescues fallen surfers before they’re crushed by 10-storey-high walls of water.. and he has less than 15 seconds to do it.

Konstantin ReyerAndreas RottenschlagerPHOTOGRAPHYWRITTEN BYIt’s a cool morning in late December and Sérgio Cosme is standing at his bedroom window, sipping an espresso, lost in thought. He’s staring at the spot in the ocean where he almost died in 2017. 

Cosme’s house is on a cliff overlooking the sandy, ochre-coloured beach of Nazaré, a small resort 100km north of Lisbon where a spectacular force of nature plays out each year. This is where, from October to March, some of the largest waves in the world surge out of the Atlantic: dark grey giants up to 30 metres tall and weighing thousands of tonnes each. 

This is Cosme’s workplace. 

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