Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Waves drags car out to sea

Here's a rather terrifying and also hard to believe story that has happened yesterday as reported in Iceland Review Online (Hat tip to James Higham):
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 brought him ashore.

Halldór Jónsson, an electrician, was helping a friend bringing a boat to land, which was tied to the pier, when the incident occurred, Fréttabladid reports.

Jónsson 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.

Jónsson 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 to Jónsson. He tied the rope to his trailer and managed to save himself and his equipment.
The report described that the car was hit by a "tidal wave" is not quite accurate. James Higham correctly called to attention to the phenomenon of rogue waves. This is clearly a case of nearshore freaque waves which is more complicate and grossly under-explored than those deep ocean freaque waves. There were frequent reports of young children or adults being washed out to the sea along the beach fronts by sudden unexpected freaque waves, but a whole automobile being dragged out to sea is still truly incredible. Take a stroll along the beach or beach front can be dangerous, now take a ride along the beach front is not any safer either!

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