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Big Waves on Lake Erie

Crystal Beach, Ontario - Sept. 28, 2009

A wind storm brings dangerous conditions to the Great Lakes, and breaks my storm chase partner's foot in the process!!

  • Strong winds gusting to 105 km/h and 4 meter waves lashed the eastern end of Lake Erie, making for dangerous water conditions that were irresistible to local surfers and a few storm chasers. I chased this event with chase partner Mark Robinson, but it didn't turn out so well for him... He was hit by a large wave and slammed down to the rocks & ended up breaking his foot. I brought him to a local hospital and after he was released, we went back out and chased the storm system some more. A tribute to our dedication and modern pain killers.
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    A local surfer dives in.

    Surf's up!

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    Large waves crashing near lakeside homes.

    More locals. This time, up on the rocks, getting blasted by the waves crashing over.

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    The strong winds were blowing the tops off of the waves.

    Another barrier wall getting pounded.

     

    The accident - Frame by frame:

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    Mark (in yellow) filming the waves with his waterproof camera. A few of the surfers were also up on the rocks, posing for pictures.

    Here it comes...

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    Where did Mark go? He's in the wave somewhere.

    Nope, still don't see him yet.

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    Oh, there he is.

    We have a man down.

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    On the way to the hospital. His foot has bleeding under the skin. At this point we don't know that it is broken.

    In the Port Colbourne hospital, waiting for the verdict.

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    5th metatarsal broken.

    With a half cast on & a handful of pain killers, Mark is ready to hit the road.

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    Back to the lake we went. Now, I'm out on the dock (not the rocks) & mark remains in the car.

    The waves have increased in size even more.

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    As the sun gets ready to set, it's time to finally call it quits.