Watchers Hurt By Waves At California Surf Competition

February 15, 2010

Though they were warned of possible wave conditions, watchers were hurt by waves Saturday in California. Two rouge waves pushed the onlookers into the rocky shore. Continue for more and a video of the event.

This contest is only held when the waves are expected to be huge, and onlookers can usually expect some water and wash up, but these waves made quite a splash. No one was killed, but over a dozen had broken ones or other injuries. Apparently the winning surfer had the roughest ride he’d ever experienced.

If anyone has forgotten just how powerful the sea is, they got a good reminder this past weekend. After seeing the video I was shocked. People were shoved and dragged all over the beach. Surfers were given a ride like they’d never quite experienced. Camera equipment and crews, along with all the set up for the event was wrecked.

Many seemed to be shaken up and needed assistance, and quite a few watchers were hurt by the waves. What makes it worse is the fact that the beach was rocky. Getting slammed into that would be awful. It is estimated that there were about 100 people along the sea wall when the water rushed in unexpectedly.

A few of the people around described what it was like. One woman said, “It just came out of nowhere and wiped us all out.” Another, who was around the equipment set up said, “All of a sudden, all of the gear, the bike racks, everything” collapsed. “And the water pulled me out. I was hitting rocks, stuff was hitting me.”

For the actual competition, winner Chris Bertish said it was difficult from the water to see how bad it was. On the upside, he took a nice bundle of cash with him all the way back to South Africa. You can see some photos of the contest here.

Also check out this video of some of the watchers hurt by the waves in California.

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