One dead, many injured after weekend’s freak waves

Monday 18 September 2023

The weekend brought unbelievable destruction to the coastline all the way from Cape Town to the Garden Route and even as far as KZN, with Saturday afternoon seeing the worst storm surge in years.

In the Garden Route at Leentjiesklip Beach in Wilderness, 93-year old Jo Hartman who was visiting from Gauteng, was swept off her feet in a parking area. She died shortly thereafter. Another man also sustained injuries and was taken to hospital.

Cars were wrecked and seaside restaurants and homes also suffered serious structural damage as a result of the Spring tide, coinciding with strong winds and a storm surge.

“People were going far too close to the ocean to take pictures of the big waves, risking their lives,” a concerned resident told eRadio News. 

Along the KZN coast, 12 people were injured when a freak wave hit a Marina beach restaurant, pushing people and furniture as far as the back wall. One person was swept out but was quickly rescued by a lifesaver.

Paramedics assessed all the patrons that had been injured, five of which sustained serious injuries. These patients were treated and stabilized on scene before being transported to the hospital for further treatment.

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