HONOLULU (KHON) – A woman narrowly escaped being dragged by a huge wave on the North Shore of Oahu by clinging to a hammock.
Sunday afternoon, Jan. 22 at Ke Iki Beach Bungalows video surveillance captured a huge wave exploding off of the rock wall separating the property from the beach.
The video then shows a wall of water pushing all of the lanai furniture toward the bungalows, then dragging them back toward the rock wall.
Several seconds later as the ocean water subsides, the video shows a woman climbing over the rock wall the wave had just crashed into.
Greg Gerstenberger, the manager at Ke Iki Beach Bungalows, said the guest was apparently lying in a hammock just outside the rock wall.
Gerstenberger said he was on another part of the property when he heard the wave hit. He described it as a roar, then almost an explosion.
“I dropped everything, and I ran up here. And, the lady guest that was in the hammock just had walked out,” he explained. “I asked her what happened, and she said she was in the hammock during the whole wave coming in.”
Gerstenberger said she was holding onto the hammock for dear life when the wave barreled up the shoreline. Luckily she wasn’t dragged out in the backwash or injured.
“The water went into the unit,” he said.
“Her daughter was in there, thank God, cause she (was) on these lounge chairs just five minutes earlier.”
According to Gerstenberger, if her daughter was on those chairs, she would have been seriously hurt.
Damage to the inside of the bungalows was minimal, but he said they had to throw out some damaged patio furniture.
He said they were hit by three massive waves Sunday but that one was the worst. Prior to that, he said waves hadn’t breached the wall since 2003.
Almost all the residences along Ke Iki beach sustained some sort of damage. You could see the row of broken fences along the coast – an area normally safe from the winter swells. Roads were also covered in sand, and people were busy cleaning up debris all along the North Shore.
Several residents declined to appear on camera but said they also had severe damage to the inside of their homes.
North Shore resident Ben Spalding said that as exciting as it is, it’s also kind of scary for the beachfront owners and the integrity of the road as well.
“I don’t have the solution, but it is definitely concerning,” Spalding said.