Monday, August 24, 2009

Some folks weren't grasping how fierce the ocean can be

Don't ignore this warning to your peril!

1PE 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Story below tells of how people just ignore warnings and result in loss of lives.

US spectators ignored warnings before wave hit
Published: Tuesday August 25, 2009 MYT 7:00:00 AM

Source: Click here

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP): Rangers at Acadia National Park insisted Monday that they had done all they could to warn visitors before beauty suddenly turned brutal, launching a hurricane-generated wave over a group of gawkers, dragging several into the roiling Atlantic and killing a 7-year-old girl.

Many visitors didn't heed alerts Sunday to keep back from huge waves that crashed spectacularly and dangerously against the rocky shore as Hurricane Bill passed over open ocean to the east, the park's chief ranger said.

Two people were hospitalized after being pulled into the churning surf by a wave that crashed on the rocks about 150 meters from a popular attraction known as Thunder Hole, where plume-like sprays rise into the air even under less severe conditions. A viewing platform there had already been closed by the park because of the dangerous conditions.

The wave swept over 20 people, 11 of whom were taken to the hospital with injuries including broken bones from being slammed onto the rocks, officials said. Several people were tossed into the water, and all but three managed to pull themselves out.

Spectators eager to take in the views of dramatic surf began filling up Acadia, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Augusta, the state capital, on Sunday morning, Chief Ranger Stuart West said. As the tide rose, generating even bigger waves, 10,000 people eventually parked along the road to view the waves spun off by Bill, West said.

The park dispatched seven rangers to the area to warn spectators to keep away from the rocks, where 12-foot to 15-foot (3 1/2 to 4 1/2-meter) waves were breaking, West said.

"They were doing it all day long," he said. "But some folks weren't grasping how fierce the ocean can be."

Three signs warning of "dangerous waves and rip currents" had also been posted at parking areas, which were closed off to new cars once they had filled.
James Kaiser, a local photographer who was at the scene, agreed that people did not heed warnings to stay away from the waves.

"I was standing next to a ranger who kept telling people to back away from the rocks," he said. "It was a pretty tough order because people were drawn to the rocks, where there were better views."

A little after noon, a huge wave crashed into the shore, sucking the visitors out to sea. The Coast Guard responded shortly afterward to a call from rangers and dispatched a boat and two aircraft.

The girl who drowned was 7-year-old Clio Dahyun Axilrod, said Sgt. Jay Carroll of the Maine Marine Patrol. Her father, Peter Axilrod, was pulled from the water, as was 12-year-old Simone Pelletier. Clio Axilrod was declared dead about two hours after being pulled out.

Her father remained at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor on Monday, along with his wife. Authorities didn't know the extent of their injuries. Pelletier was taken to Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor with injuries not considered life threatening.

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