The Ultimate Oceania Travel Guide
French Polynesia

Tahiti video captures “near death experience”

Two photographers have captured footage of a wild ride in French Polynesia, where their boat was thrown into the air by a giant wave, sending them soaring into the ocean.

A video showing the huge seven metre wave lifting a boat carrying photographers and throwing them overboard has been making the rounds on Instagram and YouTube.

Cameramen Ted Grambeau and Chris Bryan posted that their boat flipped vertically and they landed in the water clear of the vessel.

Grambeau, a respected ocean photographer, wrote on his Instagram that it was a near death experience.

“I’m currently on standby for a mother of a swell that is forecast to collide with the reef at the end of the road known as “Teahupoo”, he said.

He said he’d already experienced seeing perfect waves, boats capsizing, people injured, camera gear lost and dozens of boards broken.

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Seemingly looking for danger he said, “Higher volumes of boats straining to witness this amazing spectacle have increased the chances of mishaps!

“Wishing the surfers , drivers , rescue teams and all the boat captains and safe and thrilling swell!

Chris Bryan is a Hollywood photographer and said he was thrown off the boat like a rag doll.

“Paying the price for front row seats at Teahupoo yesterday. Somehow I managed to throw my camera and have it land in the boat before getting thrown overboard like a rag doll,” he said on Instagram.


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A post shared by Chris Bryan (@chrisbryanfilms)

A nearby drone also recorded video of the wave throwing the photographers off the boat. The drone footage shows rescue boats working fast to reach the photographers.

Some people would do anything to catch that wave. As Patrick Swayze’s character Bodhi says in Point Break’s final scene to Johnny Utah: “Look at it! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, man! Let me go out there and let me get one wave, just one wave before you take me in.”

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