Massive wave wipes out surf contest spectators - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Massive wave wipes out surf contest spectators

Betsy Foreman Betsy Foreman

by Garvin Thomas

HALF MOON BAY, CA (NBC) At least a dozen people were hurt in northern California after they were knocked down by some unexpected surf Saturday.

It happened during the Mavericks Surf Contest in Half Moon Bay, California, near San Francisco.

"I saw that wave coming and I thought to myself, this one is going to take us out" said one spectator.

An estimated 40 people were knocked down. Officials say approximately 13 people sustained significant injuries when they were swept from a seawall, including broken legs and hands. One of those with broken bones was Betsy Foreman.

"The high tide kept coming in and we were trying to get off the beach and people weren't moving quite fast enough. Then a big surge came in, and knocked I don't know how many of us under water and tumbling. And I felt my ankle snap. So I was just glad I didn't drown" said Forman.

Officials say the waves were approximately five to six feet high by the time they struck and no one was swept away into the ocean.

The incident ended up upstaging the contest, which is the world's most lucrative big-wave competition and was scheduled after forecasts called for record-breaking tall waves.

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