Current Affairs

Southern California Beachgoers Hit by Rogue Wave: 9 Hospitalized in Coastal Slam

Dramatic Video Captures Chaos as Rogue Wave Strikes Ventura Beachgoers.
A startling incident unfolded on Thursday in Ventura, Southern California, as a massive rogue wave crashed into beachgoers despite warnings about the powerful swell pounding the coastline. Pierpont Beach along Seaward Avenue became the focal point of this event, experiencing the brunt of what the National Weather Service described as “tremendous wave energy.”
Cell phone footage recorded by witness Colin Hoag captured the alarming moment when the unexpected wave submerged bystanders in an observation zone. People and even vehicles were swiftly carried away by the sudden deluge.
Chaos ensued as terrified beachgoers scrambled for safety. The forceful waters wreaked havoc, shattering windows of nearby beachfront buildings and hotels along its destructive path.
Paramedics rushed nine individuals to the hospital, with reports of several victims sustaining broken bones. Two individuals remain in critical condition as of Thursday night.
Describing the harrowing scene, Hoag recalled, “It was horrific… There was a lot of screaming, a lot of yelling. I didn’t know how far [the wave] would go. I thought, ‘This is a tsunami, is what it looks like to me.’”
Andy VanSciver from the Ventura County Fire Department emphasized the importance of heeding warnings and respecting the ocean, stating, “I think a lot of lessons were learned today when you look at that video.”
The National Weather Service issued warnings of dangerous high surf and flooding, particularly for Ventura County, Hermosa, Manhattan, and Palos Verdes beaches. Waves reaching heights of 10 to 15 feet, with sets up to 20 feet, were predicted along the Ventura County coast. A high surf warning and coastal flood warning were in effect from early Thursday morning until late Saturday night.
Despite these warnings, some visitors continued to linger at the beach and enter the ocean, disregarding authorities’ advice. Emergency personnel faced the dual challenge of attending to individuals on land while rescuing surfers and swimmers who underestimated the perilous waves.
Ventura County Fire Captain Brian McGrath cautioned, “We ask people to stay out [of the water] because it puts rescuers in harm’s way as well. The sea, it’s unforgiving, and we know what to expect.”
Throughout the week, meteorologists had cautioned residents along the central and Southern California coast about the imminent dangers, including monster waves, life-threatening rip currents, coastal flooding, and significant beach erosion.
As the high surf persisted through Saturday night, local communities began the process of recovery and rebuilding damaged beachfront establishments in Ventura. County firefighters committed to regular beach patrols, aiming to construct a protective sand berm spanning a mile, reaching heights of 6 to 8 feet, to safeguard the beach.
For safety reasons, all Ventura County beaches and the Ventura Pier will remain closed until further notice. Public safety officials urged the public to steer clear of the water and maintain a safe distance from the shoreline, stressing the risks highlighted by the rogue wave’s destruction.

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