Massive water funnel gobsmacks onlookers
By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.com.au
BOYD Rich has worked on the harbour for 40 years but yesterday he couldn't believe his eyes as a giant funnel of water churned its way across the water.
About 1500 feet of water was sucked up from the ocean off Barney Point by a storm cloud and a water spout was formed. The ocean twister whipped up the seas as it moved towards QAL.
The water spout could wreck any yacht in its path and Boyd just stood in awe as "the water was thrown around violently''.
Ten minutes later Boyd shook his head in amazement as mother nature's show came to a close.
'I've never seen anything like that,' Mr Rich said.
Shipping agent Mr Rich was heading towards the wharf, down to the ship, about 10am when he saw the phenomenon.
He's seen some spectacular things in his time like St Elmo's fire, when lightning strikes a ship's mast, but nothing will top yesterday's occurrence.
'It was pretty spectacular,' Boyd said.
Adrienne Williams was watching her son at his Friday swimming lesson when she turned around by chance.
'I just looked up behind me at the sky,' Adrienne said.
'I just jumped up off my seat and told everyone. Wow!'
Parents all turned to watch the tornado boiling on the water only about 100 metres from them.
'You could see it taking the water up,' Adrienne said.
'It was moving and real wild at the bottom. It was really spinning.'
Few felt luckier than Adrienne who has now seen the rare phenomenon twice, the first time 10 years ago in New Zealand.
People all over the Gladstone region couldn't help but stop to witness the occurrence, pulling over in their cars anywhere with a view of the spectacle.