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Madness as huge waves pound coast


Breaking Earth News
Madness as huge waves pound coast - people watching the treacherous surf from the beach were knocked off their feet by FREAK waves, a boat full of lifesavers was flipped over, and surfers were swept out to sea as the Coast was hammered by huge surf yesterday. All beaches on the Gold Coast were closed as winds of up to 90km/h whipped up dangerous waves that caught plenty off guard. Two people were stranded in waist-deep water after a freak wave pounded them against eroded dunes at The Spit about 2pm yesterday. They were forced to cling to poles under the sand-pumping jetty to avoid being swept out to sea. A huge crowd of people, including small children, also risked their lives trying to get a closer look at Mother Nature's fury by venturing to the end of rock wall at The Spit. Huge waves hit the wall as dozens fled to safer ground. Two surfers were swept north from Tallebudgera to Burleigh Heads after being caught in the strong sweep. A surf boat crew from the Greenmount surf club flipped their craft about 6am and had to be rescued by a jet-ski patrol. The weather bureau warned the treacherous conditions will not ease until Thursday. A severe weather warning remained for the southeast because of an intense low pressure system sitting 460km off Fraser Island. Only the bravest surfers dared to take on the swell, said to be the BIGGEST OF 2007. Waves of up to 13m were recorded off Coolangatta. The wave buoy off Narrowneck recorded 9m swells and shark nets were torn loose. Surf lifesavers along the Gold Coast still had to brave the conditions and warned several people, including two busloads of tourists, from entering the water near North Kirra. Showers and increasingly gusty winds keeping most people away from the water. The massive waves flooded the Vikings Surf Life Saving Club car park. Earlier, members from the club sandbagged the area. Lifesavers carried out two rescues at The Pass yesterday and later helped more than 200 people off The Pass lookout after churning water cut them off from dry land. About 20 children were taken off the lookout by air tubes for safety measures. While the low-pressure system off the Coast could not technically be classed as a tropical cyclone, it packed a similar punch. "I haven't seen anything quite of this magnitude this year. They've been good solid 10-foot (3m) waves today, (some) up to four metres. The problem is the swell's really big but not many people can surf it - only experienced tow riders. It's quite tragic really. Many people just have to sit and look at it. On days like today jet-skis really are the only option."
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