A vast wave thrashes the coast at Porthleven, Cornwall on February 6, 2014. Source
As Atlantic coastlines in western Europe suffer increasingly violent wobble-induced tides, astonished residents are discovering firsthand the power of water on the move.
"The Earth wobble takes the form of a Figure 8, when seen from above the N Pole. For Europe, as we described in 2007, this forces Europe to tilt toward the northwest when the Sun is over Europe, to be followed by a swing of N America to the northeast as the Sun moves overhead there. This combined action acts like a pump, creating a void or vacuum of low air pressure in the N Atlantic. Warm humid air is pulled up into the N Atlantic. Cold air rushes down to fill the void, and swirling begins due to the Coriolis effect.
"Will this mean continuous hurricane activity along the European coast? This will be the minor effect, as with an increased wobble the storm surge will likewise increase, sending unprecedented high tides into the lowlands of Europe."
Below is a summary of incidents since January 2014:
A. Teenager Swept Out to Sea While Photographing Waves
Devon, England - January 2
Hope has faded for a teenager feared swept out to sea as he took pictures of the massive waves battering the coast. Harry Martin, 18, disappeared after leaving his home near the village of Newton Ferrers, Devon, at midday on January 2. He told friends he was going to take pictures of the stormy weather and was last seen heading towards the coastal path. His body was recovered at sea on January 11. Source
B. Woman Missing After Couple Washed Away by Freak Wave
Biarritz, France - January 5
This video captures the horrifying moment a couple were swept out to sea after a huge wave to crashed down on them as they walked along a coastal path. The pair were walking along the treacherous sea front on January 5 near the town of Biarritz, south west France, when they were dragged out to sea. The man was in the water for 20 minutes before he was saved, but rescuers have been unable to find the woman who is in her thirties. Source
C. Man Swamped By Large Wave Over Seawall
Aberystwyth, Wales - January 6
Locals had gathered at the sea front in Aberystwyth, Wales to watch the storm surge roll in on January 6 when they were taken by surprise by a particularly large wave. One man was knocked off his feet, but was able to regain his footing before being washed over the seawall. Source
D. Men Overcome by Wild Surf in Roadway
Bantry, Ireland - January 6
As storms battered the Irish coast on January 6, a local man was checking a coastal road to determine if he could drive his delivery truck through the surging tide near Bantry in County Cork. He was accompanied by another man when a massive wave swept them up and deposited them a short distance down the road. (Note: Incident concludes within the first minute.) Source
E. Family Swept Off Seaside Cliff While Scattering Ashes
Valdoviño, Spain - January 6
Four family members were swept out to sea on January 6 while scattering the ashes of a dead relative from a seaside cliff in northwest Spain. Two helicopters searched the coast of Galicia, which continued to be lashed by strong winds and waves as high as 12 metres (40 feet). Rescuers found the body of the missing 50-year-old man, but the search is continuing for his 25-year-old daughter and brother-in-law. Another daughter managed to scramble ashore. Source
F. Monster Wave Engulfs Seawall, Chases Spectators
Porto, Portugal - January 7
Spectators were caught off guard as they filmed dramatic waves crashing against a lighthouse at the mouth of the Douro river in Porto, Potugal on January 7. At least four people were injured and cars were swept away by an enormous wave that crashed over the seafront wall. Source
G. Freak Wave Sweeps Motorist Into Coastal Waterway
Portholland, England - January 9
A freak wave swept a van into a flooded waterway and the driver escaped through a window moments before the vehicle plunged into the sea. "A rogue wave came out of nowhere. There was a loud bang and the van and I were flipped straight into the river."
The van was dropped onto its side, making it impossible for to escape through the door. "I had to escape through the window. I got away from the van as fast as I could as I was worried that the van would be carried into the sea."
Minutes after he escaped from the vehicle, it crashed into the stormy sea three metres below. Fierce waves then battered the vehicle, smashing the roof down, ripping a door and the bonnet off and rendering it scrap. Source
H. Woman Overcome by Strong Wave Along Seawall
Santander, Spain - January 15
A playful woman is engulfed by a powerful wave as she departs Santander beach on January 15. Source
J. Gigantic Wave Kills Man Walking On Pier
Ondarroa, Spain - January 28
A 43-year-old man was walking by the port in Ondarroa when he was hit by a 30-foot-tall wall of water. Thrown into the turbulent Bay of Biscay, he struggled to stay afloat. A Marine Red Cross lifeboat was deployed, the man was soon located and dragged aboard. Paramedics spent two hours trying to save his life but he died soon thereafter. Source
K. Policewoman Slammed Against Building by Monster Wave (Recommend Volume Off)
Jersey, Channel Islands - February 1
In the opening seconds of this video, a female police officer is engulfed by a huge wave that surged onto the road on the island of Jersey off the Normandy coast. After being dragged several metres down the road, she gets up, limping slightly, and proceeds to direct traffic. (The person who captured the incident later apologized for the prepubescent cackling.) Source 1 Source 2
L. Bus Swept off the Road by Massive Wave
Newgale, Wales - February 1
10 people had to be rescued after a bus was hit by a large wave and stranded in high water along the Welsh coast. Source
M. Teenager Missing After Being Swept Away While Bicycling
Foz, Spain - February 2
A 15-year-old boy was swept away as he was cycling along the waterfront in northern Spain on February 2. Waves were reported to be as much as 10 metres (more than 30 feet) high. Spanish news agencies said he was with a friend who escaped. Source
N. Woman Chased and Knocked Over By Freak Wave
Tramore, Ireland - February 5
Wave Bomb Pounds Journalists in Spain
San Sebastian, Spain - February 5
A huge wave crashed over a sea wall in San Sebastian, Spain on Wednesday, sweeping photographers and journalists off their feet. Press photographers and television crews had gathered on the Paseo de Salamanca to record the stormy seas hitting the Bay of Biscay when suddenly the giant wave crashed over the sea wall. Several people were knocked to the ground, including a camera operator from La Sexta TV. She was treated for injuries to her arm and lower back.