Video: Massive Freak Wave Engulfs Seaside Restaurant


A beautiful view of the ocean can make dinner at a seaside restaurant even more of an enjoyable experience. But being so close to the water can backfire if something goes wrong. 

Diners at a restaurant in Southbroom, South Africa learned that lesson the hard way on Sept. 17. A freak wave crashed onshore and flooded the establishment during an unusually high tide, resulting in several injuries and one child being swept out to sea. 

Jason Livingston, a diner at the Marina Beach restaurant, captured the moment when the waves slammed over the wall and washed into the restaurant. When a child went missing, the guests scrambled to try to find them before they were swallowed by the ocean for good. 

Livingston was simply watching a rugby game when the wave surprised everyone in the restaurant. “Patrons were washed around and some injured,” he said. “A child was washed into the sea with the backwash but was rescued by lifeguards.”

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Mi7 National Group’s Emergency Medical Services explained what happened. “The initial wave crashed into the restaurant, pushing patrons towards the back of the building. When it receded, a few patrons were swept into the ocean. Luckily, they managed to get back to shore safely,” the team said, according to Times Live. “The initial wave was followed by a rising tide, which continued to batter the restaurant.”

In total, seven people had minor or severe injuries, with five of them being hospitalized. 

“The incident comes during a period of high spring tides, causing damage across coastal towns along the country’s east coast, especially between Gqeberha and Cape Town,” the EMS explained. “We warn residents living near shorelines to take extra precautions. We also caution against visiting [KwaZulu-Natal]’s beaches for recreation until the tides quell and it is safe to do so.”

It’s the latest in a string of similar incidents in the African country over the weekend. On Sept. 16, a restaurant in Kalk Bay near Cape Town was also hit by a huge wave; the establishment suffered extensive damage but no one was injured. A 93-year-old woman in Leentjiesklip, meanwhile, died when a freak wave hit a parking lot. 

Be sure to exercise extra caution if you see some growing waves in the distance. 

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