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See the Unbelievable Moment Famous Photographers Are Hurled From a Boat in Giant Waves

Part of being an action sports photographer is getting as close as possible to the thrills happening right before you. But how close is too close? See two famous surf photographers come perilously close to losing it all in deathly surf recently.

The adrenaline rush that you can get as a sports action photographer is almost incomparable to any other form of photography. Placing yourself meters or even centimeters from the athletes or combatants in action sports can really get the blood flowing and the heart pumping. Whether you're thousands of feet up a frighteningly steep cliff face, dangling by some flimsy cables trying to capture free-climbers, or plummeting out of the sky so fast your cheeks are tickling your ears as you try to capture skydivers, the surge of energy sure beats working in a studio shooting uncooperative teenagers.

However, for all the thrills and spills, the danger can sometimes come at a price. During a recent run of huge swells in Tahiti, surfers at Teahupoo were trading giant, gaping barrels as spectators and photographers hooted from the channel. It was the stuff of dreams for everyone there until a rogue set came in and almost swallowed a boat, tipping it vertical as it scrambled to get over the wave's lip. Some photographers were not so fortunate, and got thrown off the back. See it all unfold here.

What's the most dangerous situation you've ever encountered while out photographing?

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. Fstoppers is where he writes about photography, but he's also a 5x Top Writer on Medium, where he writes about his expat (mis)adventures in Japan and other things not related to photography. To view his writing, click the link above.

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The driver looks so relaxec

Are my eyes just getting worse or are none of them wearing life jackets?

When they just hit the wave 2 guys bail, and once the boat is going back to it’s normal position, the boat’s driver lost his foot long sandwich. You can see the bag drifting quickly into the air.

WoW! That is such pertinent and important information to this video. My God! The sandwich went overboard!!! Thanks.

I wondered what that was. I thought it was some type of floatie.

I hate to be critical, but this is something I am very passionate about. Please excuse me if I come off as harsh.

I feel like this article is somewhat glorifying the rush of irresponsible or dangerous behavior. As a Hawaii resident I have been reminded many time of the dangers of the ocean. As a rock climber, I am very familiar with the risk mitigation involved in attempting any climb and how that takes president over the urge to make the next move.

I personally feel like exposing yourself to danger without sufficient precaution or vigilance is irresponsible and breeds the sort of thrill seeking mentality that ends in people falling into horseshoe bend for a selfie.

Recently a friend of mine broke his back when his jet-ski driver launched airborne over a wave at Waimea bay in order to bet behind a wave break. I highly doubt he or the driver are proud to look back at the situation and brag about how close to danger they were.

We need to treat situations like these as lessons in how to prevent and avoid rather opportunities to gloat about how close to danger we’ve all come. Flimsy cables are not something to be proud of or joke about.

I agree. I also grew up surfing in Hawaii. If the photographers weren't pulled out and a set came in there is a good chance they don't survive

Agreed, though I have to say that it would never have occurred to me that someone could watch this video and come away wanting to be a participant.

Boat Captain displayed total pro chops. He's been over hundreds of waves similar. Notice how he leans his body forward to move weight to the front of the boat. Idiot photogs (amateurs?) should have worried about staying in the boat instead of standing up and trying to get the shot.

You don’t think a big part of the boat captains responsibility to keep the boat and it’s passengers safe? He may have been over hundreds of waves like this, but if his passengers haven’t, how is it their fault that they don’t know exactly what to do in that situation.

Instead of just watching the video, try reading the descriptive article underneath. Photogs signed up for a "all the thrills and spills" boat ride" to shoot surfers in their environment." "...the stuff of dreams for everyone there until a rogue set [of waves] came in..."

The captain is the end all be all when it comes to responsibility on his boat. Anything that happens to anyone on his boat, it's on him, rogue wave or not. And if the captain in the boat in this video had done his job, every single person on his boat would have been wearing a PFD. I couldn't see one person wearing one, so yeah, in this instance (as in most others involving his boat, I'm sure) he's lucky no one perished.