By OLIVER PICKUP
Missed by inches: Raimana van Bastolaer ducks to avoid the jet ski slamming in to his head
This is the moment a surfer coolly cheats death by ducking, as an out-of-control jet ski hurtles towards him.
It missed the head of Raimana van Bastolaer - nicknamed the 'Pele of surfing' - who smartly dodged out of the way while riding a 12ft-wave during a surfing contest in Tahiti, where he is from.
The jaw-dropping shot was one of many taken by photographer Brian Bielmann who has made it his mission to travel the world in order to best capture the sport's top stars.
In this image, as the waves are so big, the surfers have to be towed out by jet skis in order to do their thing and Mr van Bastolaer had asked his friend Reef McIntosh to tow him into the wave.
However, it was the first time Mr McIntosh had ever tried to do a ski pull and when the tow rope was released the wave started to pull the jet ski over the lip.
Mr Bielmann, who has spent more than 30 years travelling to far flung corners of the world in search of the perfect photo, said: 'Reef jumped off the ski and as Raimana rode through the tube of the wave, the ski got sucked over his head, missing him by inches.
'Raimana made the wave although he was nearly decapitated. Reef got sucked over with the wave and slammed into the water.
'The ski was destroyed but thankfully everyone was OK.'
Surf's up: Surfer CJ Hobgood is captured by Brian Bielmann in Tahiti - this is his favourite shot
Mr Bielmann's favourite shot was also taken in Tahiti, in Teahupoo, where some of the world's biggest waves break.
He said: 'This photo was taken when the waves were huge. The surfer CJ Hobgood somehow managed to ride this incredible wave.
'I've never seen anything like it. It was a beautiful moment and when he landed it he was standing perfectly in the barrel.
Barrel of laughs: This surfer keeps a cool head as he heads though a wave as it is breaking
'I consider this the most beautiful wave I have ever shot with a surfer on it.'
The photographer uses specialist underwater housing for his cameras when bobbing about in the strong currents and has also managed to capture animal such as turtles and manta rays on film.
He added: 'When you are swimming in the water with the surfer you are no longer a spectator but now a participant.
'My goal is to try to keep taking the viewer to places they have not visited and to see things unlike anything they have seen before.'
Saturday, 2 July 2011
Behind you, dude! Moment surfer coolly escapes death when out-of-control jet ski heads straight for him
By OLIVER PICKUP