Watch: Surging waves at Benone Strand engulf cars and sweep pet baskets out to sea

These were the dramatic scenes after a high tide sent waves surging up to a car parking site on Benone Strand.

ocal woman Anna Isaksson captured the footage yesterday showing the aftermath as the water rushed towards the crowds gathered on the beach near Limavady.

Soon afterwards, cars could be seen surrounded by water, while empty pet baskets also floated away – no animals were harmed.

Anna explained how the incident quickly unfolded.

She said at one stage the vehicles were “completely swamped”.

“We were there possibly just before 11am. A lot of people drive down and park on the beach. It was meant to be after high tide,” she said.

“We have enough experience on that beach – you think we’d know better, but we walked up to go and get a coffee and the waves were coming right in, past the coffee area right at the top there.

“All the cars were getting completely swamped, there were a few animal baskets getting dragged away, luckily there were no animals in there, all animals were safe.

“It was just crazy.

“There were a group of ladies going in for a swim and a few of us were a bit concerned. We were saying ‘Be careful, maybe don’t go in or, if you are, maybe don’t go too deep’. Then that surge came in, just before they went into the water, thank goodness, it would have been enough to take them off their feet if they had been in.”

Anna said people need to be wary of strong currents.

“The pull is so strong back out again,” she added.

“That is why we have been putting up messages on social media for people to stay out of the water or if you are going into the water make sure you do an appropriate risk assessment and don’t go in far. I would just say don’t go in, to be honest.

“When you first drive down you don’t think it is so bad but the waves out far are really big and they are breaking really big.

“We drove round to Portstewart as well and because the waves are breaking so close to shore you can see the size of them.

“I know the reports are that it is going to be building all day. Hopefully the surges won’t be coming up quite as far with the tide going out.”

A spokesperson for Maritime and Coast Guard Control based in Bangor confirmed the waves should be down coming into the afternoon and evening, with the worst of the conditions passed.

However, they encouraged the public not to put themselves into danger attempting to capture any photographs, never to turn their back on waves and to “stay high and stay dry”, by keeping away from dangerous and rough sea conditions.

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