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OC surfer in coma after heavy NorCal wipeout

January 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
An Orange County surfer is in critical condition after being caught in an overwhelming set of waves in Northern California at the Mavericks surf spot north of Half Moon Bay.Jacob Trette, 30, was one of several surfers knocked off their boards while riding 12 to 18 foot waves, until a much larger wave bore down Saturday.

He was found unconscious and rescued by a photographer on a personal watercraft.

Trette was airlifted to a hospital where he remains in a medically induced coma.

His brother, Bobby Trette, said he is showing improvement.

"He actually grabbed the nurse's hand when she asked," Trette said. "That's a very good sign and we're just hoping he's going to live. We're just not sure about the brain functions."

Family members said Trette is an experienced surfer who has tackled big waves in other parts of the world.

He grew up surfing in Orange County, but Trette's brother said it was his first try at Mavericks.

Trette is one of seven children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.