Recap of Wave Crashing into Restaurant at Santa Barbara Restaurant in 2014
This blog post is a summary of an event that happened March 2, 2014, when a rogue wave knocked a board loose on the pier which struck a window causing it to break and letting water into the restaurant. We are posting a summary of the events that happened on that day as reported by witnesses and news outlets like KEYT and Noozehawk.
A wave crashed through windows at Moby Dick restaurant on Stearns Wharf sending diners running for the doors.
The waves were also crashing high and hard at the breakwater, forcing Harbor Patrol to close the popular walkway.
"We have a high surf advisory right now with our high tide at 9:15 this morning, at over 6 foot, combined with estimated swell up to 12 feet causes some pretty dangerous conditions," said Eric Engebretson, with the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol.
Rain and waves kicked up sand and water into parking lots, flooding some areas. But it didn't scare people away from checking out the damage.
"What we are seeing here is what I call is the perfect storm. We've got high tides, huge surf and a lot of rain. And what that creates is a lot of havoc and destruction along the coast side," said John Ledbetter.
After a dry start to the year, the storm enticed people to the beach.
"I'm just at the harbor checking the waves out. There's a surf spot out here that doesn't break very often so whenever a big storm comes in every body's coming to check out the waves," said Ted Tambakis, a Santa Barbara resident.
The yacht club at the harbor was spared of damage thanks to a sand birm. But the water and seaweed did threaten the building because of the relentless waves.
Patrons of the Moby Dick Restaurant on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara were "shocked and stunned" after a huge wave crashed into the restaurant Saturday, breaking a window and prompting employees to evacuate the dining room.
Gerry Mora, a manager at the restaurant, told The Times he was concentrating on a waiting list that was building up at about 9:30 a.m. when he heard "screaming and shouting."
One of the servers ran from the back of the restaurant saying "the window's broke, the window's broke," Mora recalled.
After assessing the situation, Mora helped evacuate the restaurant in case another wave hit.
Patrons were "mostly just shocked and stunned," he said. "We were all in shock."
The event was caught on video by customers and posted to YouTube.
"Some of my customers got wet. Thank goodness no one got hurt or cut by the glass," Mora said.
The first wave probably damaged the pier, Mora said, adding that the second wave must have thrown up a piece of wood, breaking the glass.
"We are assuming that a piece of wood got knocked up from the wharf," Mora said.
With the broken window patched with wood, the restaurant reopened to a busy crowd Sunday with patrons curious about the spot where the wave landed, Mora said.
"I've been here for 10 years and not once this has happened," Mora said. "We've had big waves before, but nothing like this."
Patrons were watching the ocean crash over breakfast when the huge wave hit Saturday. The incident was caught on a cell phone camera. No one was seriously hurt and the restaurant was evacuated.
The recent bout of wild weather in California left some Santa Barbara diners with a lot more salt on their breakfast than they intended when a huge wave broke right through a seaside restaurant's windows.
Many locals headed to the Moby Dick Restaurant to catch a front-row seat to the Saturday morning storm that was expected to bring a big swell at high tide.
Video captured by diners shows one smaller swell sloshing up against the windows, to the excited murmur of diners.
Diner Forrest Buchanan, who filmed the wave, described the incident.
'The dining room was filled with the sound of glass shattering and people screaming as a wave of water rushed over the dining room carpet,' he said.
Another diner, Jill Freeland, told NoozHawk that she and her family had just finished breakfast at 9:30am when the wash crashed into the restaurant.
'I really didn’t expect it to break,' Freeland told Noozhawk. 'Another swell beforehand came pretty close. We were just expecting some excitement. You never know with swell and tide.'
No one was injured in the incident, and all patrons were safely evacuated from the restaurant.
Buchanan says he asked the manager if it was OK if he did not pay for the few bites of eggs he'd managed before the wave hit and quickly evacuated with the other patrons.
The National Weather Service had issued a high surf advisory that Saturday in Santa Barbara.