Nfld. & Labrador

Children nearly swept away by waves at Middle Cove Beach, says witness

A witness to what could have been a disaster at Middle Cove Beach is calling for mindfulness and safety after watching children nearly get swept in the undertow of a large wave on Friday.

'It was really heartbreaking to see and really scary,' says Beatrice Clowe

Two children were dragged into the water on Middle Cove Beach on Friday. (Donna Paddon/Twitter)

It was supposed to be a regular day at Middle Cove Beach for Beatrice Clowe on Friday, watching big waves roll over the smooth rocks while enjoying the fresh ocean air and a hot coffee.

But things took a turn shortly after her arrival as the North Atlantic waves began to pick up strength. 

Clowe said she witnessed a scary moment for a family of four, as two children, who were standing on rocks, were nearly swept away in the undertow of a large and unexpected wave. 

"I seen the people down in the water when the wave came right into the beach. I seen the children going down in the water, and I seen the father trying to grab them," she said. "It was really heartbreaking to see and really scary."

Clowe said she visits the area nearly every day, and when the ocean waves are high people generally keep their distance. 

Fortunately, she said, everyone involved in the harrowing event made it out of the water and off the beach. She spoke with the family briefly in the parking lot. 

"They were all soaked. People were asking, 'Are you OK?' and the wife looked really upset. She was crying, shaken up," said Clowe. 

Following the incident, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary tweeted to advise the public to use caution on the province's coasts and beaches and to enjoy the scenery from a distance.

Clowe, too, gave a reminder that big ocean swells are something to take seriously.

"Just be really mindful of the ocean, just have respect for it," she said. "I hope nothing bad ever happens down there, because it could happen again."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Alex Kennedy