Three people were lucky to escape with minor injuries after a rogue wave swept over a rock pool at Sydney’s Royal National Park on Saturday afternoon.
Around 150 people were at the Figure 8 rock pool – a remote and picturesque formation accessible only by a three-kilometre walk – just before 3pm, surf life savers said.
As they watched, a large wave swept over the rock pools, washing one woman into the water and injuring at least two others.
Figure 8 rock pool on Sunday. Picture: Instagram, micahbgold
Witnesses called emergency services.
Police, Fire and Rescue NSW, park rangers, lifeguards and NSW Ambulance responded, but since the area is so remote they were unable to get there by land.
Lifesavers accessed the rocks with an inflatable boat and began treating those injured, with initial reports suggesting a 22-year-old woman had head injuries and a 53-year-old woman had an injured ankle.
Just one of many quite serious injuries at figure 8 pool this afternoon #figure8poolpic.twitter杭州龙凤论坛m/XweG9wR99U
— Jon Lawley (@jonlawley) January 9, 2016
Both women were winched away from the area by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, each accompanied by one of their family members, and taken to hospital.
Another woman, a 20-year-old who was washed into the water and hit her head, was airlifted to St George Hospital by the NSW Ambulance helicopter.
By Saturday evening, all three had been released.
In the wake of the lucky escape, the National Parks and Wildlife Service said people should stay off rock platforms on the NSW coast for the rest of the weekend as “hazardous surf conditions prevail”.
“The first of many rogue waves today,” ashleighkm posted on Instagram.
“The Bureau of Meteorology issued a hazardous surf warning for the entire NSW coast and yet we are seeing people flocking to low lying coastal rock platforms,” the wildlife service’s area manager Kane Weeks said.
“With several rescues already this weekend at Royal National Park, including at Figure 8 Pool, we would urge people to use common sense and stay away from the rocks.
“In these conditions caution is needed for any activity near the ocean, not just rock fishing.”