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In 2009, Gabeira won the ESPY award for Best Female Action Sports Athlete. Later that year, Gabeira surfed the biggest wave ever by a female when she successfully rode a 14 metres (46 ft) wave at Dungeons, a big-wave surf spot in South Africa.
In 2010, she was awarded with the Billabong Girls Best Overall Performance Award for a record four years in a row.
On October 28, 2013, Gabeira lost consciousness and nearly drowned while surfing a massive wave near Nazaré, Portugal, caused by the St Jude storm; she was saved by her fellow Brazilian big-wave surfer Carlos Burle, ending up in the hospital
Gabeira's father is Fernando Gabeira, one of the founding members of the Green Party of Brazil. Her father is also a former member of a guerilla group responsible for the kidnapping of the US Ambassador in Brazil, Charles Elbrick, in 1969.
- The Extreme Scene The Extreme Scene: Congrats to Maya Gabeira for Winning Best Female Action Sport Athlete ESPY
- Transworld Surf Maya Gabeira Rides The Biggest Wave Ever By A Woman
- Explorer Girls Maya Gabeira Wins Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Award Fourth Year in a Row
- Paul Hamilos, "Surfers in Portugal ride towering waves whipped up by storm", The Guardian, October 29, 2013.
- "Maya Gabeira gives thumbs up after near-drowning experience", Surfer Today, October 28, 2013.
-  Maya Gabeira - Professional X Games Athlete Profile Maya Gabeira
- Maya Gabeira - Official Home Page (Portuguese)