Surfing champion dies mid-heat
BRAZILIAN surfer Leo Neves has died while competing in Saquarema over the weekend.
The two-time national champion, 40, suffered a suspected heart attack during the semi-final of Brazil's Triple Crown competition. The incident took place at the Itauna beach in Rio de Janeiro.
According to Brazilian news outlet Waves, Neves had just finished riding a wave before he suffered a heart attack. The outlet said he eventually drowned and was unable to be resuscitated.
Emergency services rushed into the water to help him, but he was pronounced dead before arriving at a nearby hospital in Bacaxa.
After surfing the wave, Neves reportedly had to paddle over several waves to return to the area where he could catch larger waves, which left him exhausted and caused the subsequent sudden cardiac arrest.
Shortly before the semi-finals, Neves had uploaded a video on Instagram where he spoke of the rough sea conditions.
"The sea is ominous," he said. "Can you imagine a dark sea? That one … even looks like a washing machine. You feel breathless."
Neves competed in the World Surf League's championship tour in 2007 and 2008 as well as five editions of the Brazilian World Elite Stage.
He will be buried at Barrinha - a popular surfing spot in Saquarema.
The surfer leaves behind his wife Tatiana and four children - two from his current marriage and two from a previous relationship.
This article was originally published by The Sun and reproduced with permission