Beachgoers who didn’t head surf warnings at Sydney’s Royal National Park were in a deadly situation on Saturday, as a “freak” wave smashed into swimmers in the popular figure-8 rock pools. People can be seen running for their lives as the wave approaches. However, swimmers unable to outrun the wave were smashed by the wave. Rescue helicopters were called to the scene, and three women were airlifted with injures from the large wave.
The Daily Mail reports that a number of beachgoers at the Sydney Royal National Park were injured when a “freak” giant wave crashed into hundreds of people at the popular figure-8 rock pools. The Bureau of Meteorology says a hazardous surf warning was issued during the time of the incident, but that beachgoers did not heed warnings to stay away from low lying rock platforms.
‘The Bureau of Meteorology issued a hazardous surf warning for the entire NSW coast and yet we are seeing people flocking to low lying coastal rock platforms.”
A number of people at the beach captured images from the chaotic scene, where beach revelers can be seen running in panic as the giant wave crashes into the rock pool area. One Instagram user, Ellie Bishop, posted a frightening image in which it appears she is standing near the hazardous situation in one of the low lying pools.
Other users posted video of the horrifying wave, in which you can hear those higher up yelling for the ones in the rock pool to “get out” just before the wave hits. As the wave approaches, people begin to scatter, but it is too late. The swimmers can be seen being swept up in the wave as people look on in horror. One couple can be seen simply holding on to one another as they brace for the impact of the large wave.
Another user was horrified at people’s lack of safety around the ocean. Instagram user Cameron Wilson saying he is baffled by people’s lack of respect for the ocean, and that he was almost certain when the wave approached that he was going to witness someone die. Fortunately, no one died at the beach, but emergency crews did respond to help the injured. Injuries ranged from head injuries to a broken ankle.
“No words to describe people’s lack of respect for the ocean. I was sure I was going to see someone die today.”
In another photo captured by Cameron Wilson, it shows emergency crews responding to the scene. Reports indicate that three women were airlifted from the area with injuries, but all have since been released.
The Royal National Park notes that numerous rescues have taken place already at the park, and that they are warning beachgoers to exercise vigilance and common sense in regards to staying away from potentially risky situations. They note that anyone planning to spend time near the rocks at the beach should be cautious as surf warnings continue in the area.
“With several rescues already this weekend at Royal National Park, including at Figure 8 Pool, we would urge people to use common sense and stay away from the rocks. In these conditions caution is needed for any activity near the ocean, not just rock fishing.”
What do you think of the beachgoers reaction to the huge wave?
[Image via Instagram/Ellie Bishop/Jakee.T]