Pro Surfer Garrett McNamara Thanks Fans After Surviving Near-Deadly Wipeout

An epic tale of endurance.

Professional surfer Garrett McNamara has a penchant for taking risks in the water. The 48-year-old holds the world record for surfing the largest wave at 100-feet. Yet sometimes even the best surfers bite more than they can chew in the ocean.

On Thursday, McNamara surfed at Mavericks, a popular surfing destination in Half Moon Bay, California. The waves were extra powerful, thanks in part to El NiƱo, but McNamara was still eager to surf at Mavericks.

While surfing, McNamara experienced a wipeout like no other on a 50-footer.

He slipped and fell head first into the roaring water.

"This one was just really nasty by how mean and radical Mother Nature was that day," professional surfer Nic Vaughan told the San Jose Mercury News. "You have a potential to die on a day like that."

Rescuers on jet skis recovered McNamara from the ocean.

"I hit so hard, it was just like a big, bright light," McNamara told ABC News. "It was definitely one of the craziest wipeouts I've ever had."

McNamara sustained a shoulder injury and had surgery. While hospitalized, many fans reached out to McNamara on his Facebook page and wished him well.

McNamara posted a photo of his recovery on Facebook and thanked his fans for their tremendous support.

While he will miss the remainder of the 2016 big wave season while he recovers, he has vowed to return to the ocean.

"Surfing is my life. It's my passion," McNamara told ABC News. "It's what I love to do and I'll never stop surfing."

Watch the full video:

(H/T: ABC News)