Durban – At least seven people were injured on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal after a wave crashed into a restaurant on Sunday afternoon.
Mi7 national group spokesperson Colin David said Mi7’s Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to the Marina Beach area near Southbroom after reports of a freak wave that struck a beach-side restaurant filled 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,” David 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,” David said.
He added that the incident came at 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,” David warned.
KwaZulu Private Ambulance (KZPA) spokesperson Chantell Botha said that KZPA responded to Marina Beach for reports of a mass casualty incident.
“When emergency services arrived, they found that a huge wave had crashed into a restaurant, injuring many patrons and washing one person out to sea,” Botha said.
“The quick reaction of lifeguards led to the person being rescued from the sea.”
Paramedics assessed all the patrons who were injured, including five who had sustained serious injuries.
“These patients were treated and stabilised on the scene before being transported to the hospital for further treatment,” Botha said.
There was a weather alert issued for damaging waves on the coast of KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend. These areas included the eThekwini, Ray Nkonyeni, Umdoni, KwaDukuza, Mandeni, Mfolozi, uMlalazi and uMhlathuze municipalities.
The warning listed the following:
- Localised disruptions of harbours/ports for a short period of time.
- Difficulty in navigation for small vessels in a short period.
- Small vessels may be at risk of taking on water and capsizing in a locality.
- Localised damage to coastal infrastructure.
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