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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Trette's condition upgraded to "fair"

By Jake Howard
ESPN Action Sports

Responsible for saving Jacob Trette's life at Mavericks, Russell Ord and Alex Botello are being hailed as heroes.

In talking with authorities at Stanford Medical Center this morning, survivor of Saturday's near-fatal hold down at Maverick's Jacob Trette's condition has been upgraded to "fair." He has regained consciousness, all of his vitals are stable, and it is anticipated that besides some temporary discomfort, he will recover.

After being placed in an induced coma Saturday afternoon, initially it was believed that at best Trette would more than likely suffer from brain damage due to the length of time he was held under the water without oxygen, and a lot of people who were on scene in Half Moon Bay wondered if he would even make it.

At approximately 9:35 a rogue 25-foot set steamed through the Maverick's lineup, catching everybody off guard. Trette went over the falls on the first wave of the set and was held down for the second. It appears he was then able to get a life-saving breath before being mowed down by two more waves and pushed through the rocks on the inside. His body was discovered by a kayaker in the fore bay, and photographer Russell Ord who had been out shooting all morning from a jet ski.

"Just a few words, right place at right time I was never in any real danger myself," wrote Ord on his Facebook page today. "People around the world do this for a job day in and day out, and if anything at all comes of this is that authorities take a look at the rules and regulations. Mavericks in my eyes is a world class paddle wave no need for skis to be buzzing around towing, but for rescue that is a far different story. Jacob, I hope all is well."

In conversation this morning with Frank Quirarte, the Water Operations Director of The Jay At Maverick's Big Wave Invitational, the greater Maverick's community is obviously very relieved and overjoyed to hear about Trette's encouraging upgrade in condition. They continue to wish Trette and family the best.

See photos and read a complete account from Saturday here. ESPN Surfing will continue to follow this story as it develops.