This is the moment the world’s largest tidal bore wave – also known as the ‘Silver Dragon’ – shoots up a river and sweeps three men away as a woman screams.
The three friends, whose names have not been released, were trying to cross the waist-high waters of the Qiantang River in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province in East China, when the tidal bore – the world’s largest and which is known as the Silver Dragon – swept in.
The fire service in city’s Xiaoshan District were called at 5:37pm local time on 7th July after witnesses watching the tidal bore from Hangzhou Bay reported the three men missing in the waves.
Video Credit: AsiaWire
A video taken by one of the witnesses shows the three men wading across the usually shallow Qiantang River in a bid to reach the opposite riverbank.
But the tidal bore, which is a popular year-round tourist attraction, can be seen coming in fast, pushing upstream in their direction.
A tidal bore is a wave that flows inland instead of out to sea.
A male witness standing on the riverbank and watching from behind a fence can be heard saying: “They’re in trouble if the tide hits them.”
Roughly 200 feet from the riverbank, the three men appear to realise they cannot outrun the oncoming wave, so they decide to lock arms and face the tide head on.
There is temporary relief when the friends still seem to be standing in the waves, but the reaction of the witnesses soon turns to panic as the trio are swept away in the currents.
A woman watching the scenes unfold can be heard crying increasingly loudly and repeating: “What do we do? What do we do?”
The video ends as the three men disappear under the waves before being carried upstream under Jiubao Bridge.
Xiaoshan District firefighters confirmed that all three men were retrieved from the river, but one of them had tragically drowned in the tidal bore.
An unnamed rescuer said: “The one who knows how to swim was absolutely exhausted. He lay motionless on the ground and said he wanted to throw up.
“The survivor who can’t swim was very lucky. He was pulled to safety by rescuers.”
The three men are reportedly among dozens of tourists – including children – who regularly wade into the shallows of the river for fun, unaware of the true dangers of the tide despite warning signs urging visitors not to walk on the riverbed.
The Qiantang River tidal bore, which comes in from Hangzhou Bay, is the world’s largest and reaches heights of up to 30 feet while travelling inland at 25 mph.
It is known by locals as the Silver Dragon due to its foaming waves. It is also called the Black Dragon for its often muddy, sediment-filled torrents.
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