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Laird Hamilton rescues fellow surfer

Brett Lickle recalls his wipeout experience as"the most intense thing I've been through" after being rescued by Laird Hamilton.

Lickle said Hamilton stripped naked so he could tie his surf trunks into a tourniquet after Lickle suffered a huge gash on his leg in what he said was an 80-foot (24-meter) ocean wave.

Lickle, 47, was recovering Wednesday, The Honolulu Advertiser reported.

In Monday's incident, Lickle said he was cut by the fin of a board on the watercraft he and Hamilton used to get to the spot where the waves were breaking.

Hamilton is among the extreme surfers who have pioneered the riding of superwaves that ordinary surfers do not tackle. He and fellow big-waver Dave Kalama premiered a short film, "All Aboard the Crazy Train," on tow-in surfing in 2005, warning that it was not a sport for the inexperienced. Hamilton also was among surfers performing in feature-length films highlighting the sport, "Step Into Liquid" and "Riding Giants."

One fear, Lickle said, was that the blood from his wound would attract tiger sharks that hover around the shoreline.

He said that after tying the tourniquet, Hamilton swam "like a bat out of hell" to recover the watercraft.

Surfers said ocean conditions on Monday created waves of historic size.

"There were the biggest waves that any of us have seen," said Buzzy Kerbox, another Hawaii big-wave surfer.