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Surfer Shawn Dollar suffers broken neck while surfing off Central Coast

Surfer injured

A surfer at the 2013 Mavericks Surf Competition in Half Moon Bay.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

A celebrated surfer was critically injured Monday while surfing off California’s Central Coast.

Shawn Dollar, who holds a world record for paddling into a 61-foot wave, broke his neck in four places while surfing in waves that were reported to measure 25 feet, according to a statement issued by organizers of the Titans of Mavericks competition.

Dollar was free surfing, but Cartel Management, which runs the annual Titans of Mavericks competition, issued the statement on behalf of Dollar.

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FOR THE RECORD

9:56 p.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that Shawn Dollar was injured while competing in the Titans of Mavericks competition. Dollar was free surfing at the time of the accident.

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After becoming injured, Dollar managed to bring himself to safety, and he was taken to a hospital, where he’s currently listed in stable condition, organizers said.

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Dollar is expected to make a full recovery during the next several months, organizers said.

“I’m so thankful I’m alive and present today,” Dollar said in a statement. “I’m thankful to learn that even with these severe injuries I will make a full recovery. They will be met with challenges, but with my family’s support and community encouragement I will be back in no time.”

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In 2010, Dollar wasn’t competing in the Mavericks contest, but during a break between the semifinals and finals, he rode a 60-foot wave -- the biggest in competition history. For the wave, the Santa Cruz resident won the Monster Paddle Award at the 2010 Billabong XXL Awards.

At the Cortes Bank, about 100 miles off the coast of San Diego, Dollar broke the world record in 2012 by paddling into a 61-foot wave, which earned him another Billabong XXL award.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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