12 people were injured when a freak wave battered a Marina Beach restaurant near Southbroom, on Sunday afternoon.
Kwazulu Private Ambulance Service and Mi7 paramedics were dispatched to Marina beach following reports of a mass casualty incident.
On arrival at the scene, paramedics found that a huge wave had crashed into the restaurant injuring patrons. At least one person was washed out to the sea.
“The quick reaction of life guards led to the person being rescued from the sea shortly after being washed out. Paramedics assessed all the patrons that had been injured, seven of which sustained serious injuries,” the emergency services said in a statement.
The patients were treated and stabilised on scene before being transported to the hospital for further treatment.
Mi7 paramedics said the restaurant was full with patrons.
“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,” said Mi7 paramedics.
The rescue services said the initial wave was followed by a rising tide, which continued to batter the restaurant.
“In total, seven patients sustained minor to severe injuries, five of whom were taken to hospital by Mi7 medics and their counterparts from another service provider,” it said in its statement.
It said 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.
“We warn residents living near shorelines to take extra precautions. We also caution against visiting KZN’s beaches for recreation until the tides quell and it is safe to do so,” said the paramedics.