An outing to a Miami Beach boardwalk took a horrifying turn Friday morning when a massive wave crashed onto the footpath — sending six people to the hospital.
Shocking video captured the moment the wave rushes onto the South Pointe Park boardwalk, sweeping several people off their feet and dragging some of them out to sea.
At least two people were tossed over the boardwalk railing and into the Government Cut channel, where rough waters and piles of rocks along shore threatened serious injuries, the video shows.
A man sitting on a bench was swept across the boardwalk and a bicycle was slammed against the railing.
Ocean Rescue units jumped into the water, though some were injured in the process themselves.
“The current is pulling out; there is no way to swim in,” a surfer who was rescued told WSVN. “The lifeguard really saved me and got hurt in the process, he did, and I really appreciate it, man.”
Six people were taken to the hospital with injuries.
A witness showed the outlet photos of several victims with cuts on their arms and legs and another with what appeared to be a head injury.
“I have never seen the water this turbulent, ever,” said area resident Williams Schachte.
Following the incident, Miami Beach raised red flags and closed the shore to the public.
“A high surf advisory is effect until 8 p.m. today,” a social media notice read. “Swimming and surfing conditions are dangerous. Please stay out of the water for your own safety and the safety of our Ocean Rescue lifeguards.”
Nearby Miami-Dade Fire Rescue issued a similar warning against King Tides, or exceptionally high tides, which may have been exacerbated by the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
The area was closed off for the remainder of the day. Park rangers said it’s unclear when it will reopen.