Earth News: Iceland
March 13, 2007
A resident in Eyrarbakki, south Iceland, was washed into the ocean when a tidal wave hit his car at the pier in the neighboring town of Stokkseyri Friday. A firefighter rescued him ashore. He was helping a friend bringing a boat to land, which was tied to the pier, when the incident occurred. He parked his car on the pier with a trailer attached to it and was about to drag the boat onto the trailer when a huge wave swept him out to sea. He managed to crawl out of the window on the roof of his car. “It felt like I was stranded on a desert island,” he said. A firefighter arrived at the scene and tossed a rope. He tied the rope to his trailer and managed to save himself and his equipment.
NEW ZEALAND - Two fishermen suffered cuts and bruises and one has a possible neck injury after a FREAK WAVE knocked them off rocks near Kerikeri Inlet in Northland and out to sea. Their uncle climbed a hill and ran a kilometre to raise the alarm. One of the young men was rescued by a local surfer and the other made it to shore by himself.
AUSTRALIA - A man holidaying near a western Victorian resort town drowned after a FREAK WAVE sank his boat. His friend had to be plucked from the water after their fishing boat overturned at Two Mile Bay, at Port Campbell. "One man had tripped and fallen over the side of the boat. The other guy turned the boat around and went back to find him, but a big wave has come and up-ended the boat." The survivor was treated for hypothermia.
BRITAIN - Two swept to their death by a FREAK WAVE. Less than a week ago a Coventry man died with his partner, Patricia, when they were caught by a massive surge of water as they stood holding hands on a harbour wall in Cornwall. People at Mullion Cove threw a lifebelt to him as he desperately tried to stay afloat and he managed to grab it but it's rope broke. Three members of the lifeboat crews who took part in a rescue attempt were injured.
BAHAMAS - On February 26th, one person died after what police in the Bahamas call "a freak accident," while jet skiing on a Nassau-area beach. A FREAK WAVE knocked a couple off their rented jet ski and they struggled to get ashore. The young man was pronounced dead on the beach.
NEW ZEALAND - Authorities in New Zealand called off the search for missing trans-Tasman kayaker Andrew McAuley on February 11th. The decision to suspend the search came after fruitless searching. It was not known why the Australian adventurer issued a distress call in relatively calm waters near New Zealand after surviving much harsher conditions during his voyage from Tasmania. McAuley's kayak, in which he had paddled from Tasmania toward New Zealand's South Island, was found a day after the distress call, but there was no sign of the man. During the 1500 kilometres he had travelled before he got into trouble, he had aready been battered by nine-metre waves and gale force winds. There was speculation he might have been tossed from his craft after a FREAK WAVE tore off a protective canopy. The recovered vessel was complete except for the 70 centimetre-tall fibreglass bubble that sat at the back. The device could be locked over the cockpit as McAuley slept. It also enabled the kayak to right itself when it capsized. "Everything in the boat is in perfect working order, except it doesn't have the bubble...Something big has ripped the bubble off and probably capsized him." McAuley left Tasmania on January 11 against the advice of the national search and rescue organisation that the crossing was too dangerous. He had modified his kayak to deal with the cold after turning back from an attempt in December.
SOUTH AFRICA - A couple died on January 9 when they were pulled into the water at Bakoven after a FREAK WAVE swept them off the rocks.