4 people sent to hospital after rogue wave strikes Virginia Aquarium whale-watching boat


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Four people were sent to a local hospital following an incident at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center involving a Virginia Aquarium whale-watching boat.

A video showing the incident was provided to 10 On Your Side courtesy of Surfline.com.

According to a spokesperson from the Virginia Aquarium, four people were transported to Virginia Beach General Hospital with non life-threatening injuries following the incident around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The spokesperson believes the injuries stem from a rogue wave striking the boat during a tour through the Rudee Inlet.

Kenneth Qiu was one of 124 people aboard. He says it happened very fast.

“It’s just something that you don’t see coming. It wasn’t like this big wave was coming. Literally, we went up, we went down and then there was this wall of water and we hit,” he said.

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center say the captain of the ship immediately navigated to the Virginia Beach Fishing Center where emergency personnel were able to assist all that were injured.

“Police came on board, EMS came on board to see if anyone was injured, they got most of the wet injured people off first. I saw probably two people go off on stretchers,” Qiu said.

Kenneth says that is where he really saw the damage the wall of water caused.

“Once I was able to get off the boat and walk around to the front, people were talking about the windows and looking up to where the captain was. The two front windows were gone and I knew there were windows there cause there were window wipers, but there was nothing for them to wipe anymore,” he said.

Chelsea and Josue Cacerez were on board when the wave hit and gave 10 On Your Side permission to use this video.

Other passengers from the vessel were evaluated, according to Virginia Beach EMS.

Virginia Aquarium officials thanked first responders for their “quick response and assistance.”

Stay on WAVY.com for the latest.

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