Tide Seen Going Wrong Way Off Irish Coast at Multiple Harbours
Sunday 19th, June 2022
Ireland Report / Story
On Saturday the 18th of June 2022 locals in west Cork were perplexed with the unusual activity witnessed in the harbor area of Courtmacsherry. At around 2pm the tide in the harbour was witnessed going the wrong way.

Local boot operator David Edwards was cleaning the hull of his boat which was moored at a local pontoon, he said, "I was upside down and I could see the water was going the wrong way, it should have been coming in,".

"Then I saw local people were all looking at the water and it was clear something very strange was happening. The water was rushing out like a river. I'd never seen anything like it before. The first thing you think is 'tsunami' and to be honest if it was going any faster I think we all would have been heading for the hills."

Another witness, Adrian Nowotynski was mooring his boat a couple of kilometers down the road from Courtmacsherry at Union Hall harbour when Adrian noticed the tide behaving in an unusual manor.

"I'd just come back from dropping some people in Rosscarbery and was rowing for the shore when I noticed it at around a 3.15pm. I realised I wasn't making any headway rowing my small boat and the tide was really racing against me," he said.

"It was going out so fast that my boat was keeled on the bottom and so were a number of yachts and fishing trawlers and I’ve never seen that before. My first instinct was it must be an earthquake somewhere, nobody had ever seen the like of it Union Hall before."

Adrian said that he witnessed the tide drop approximately 1.5 metres in around five minutes and the tide came in and out twice in less than 30 minutes.

Adrian said, "People were very concerned, when you see something like that you'd wonder what's going on. There were some people trying to get in from a yacht and they were grounded as well. They were a bit further out and said they could see a large wave coming in like a tidal bore,".

Additionally a third witness, Tim Forde, the commodore of the Glandore Harbour Yacht Club across the bay from Union Hall when he noticed the unusual tide.

"I'd collected my daughter from work and we were crossing the Poulgorm bridge across the top of the harbour when I noticed it. It was unbelievable. The tide must have been flowing out at six knots two hours after low water, and then six minutes later it was coming back in just as fast. There were boats lying aground in the mooring field. It was like tidal bore conditions and changing direction in minutes with mud being carried out to sea."

The tide was witnessed by locals in Union Hall go in and out about five times over the course of about three hours with the water levels dropping by what he described as lower than have been seen in living memory in Glandore Harbour.

Further unusual tides were reported in New Ross and Kilmore Quay in County Wexford.

According to the Valentia coastguard station, a combination of northerly winds and high tides may have been a factor in the unusual events.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre recorded a 2.6 magnitude earthquake at 11.28am Irish time west of Portugal near the Azores about 1,900km southwest of Ireland which could account for some tidal anomalies. The 1755 earthquake off the coast of Portugal, which caused massive loss of life and destruction in Lisbon, had an impact as far away as Ireland, sending tsunamis to the southwest coast in particular.

Locals are unsure if this is true as there have been many under sea quakes over the years but no unusual tide activity has been reported afterwards.

Update (21st June 2022):
One of Ireland's leading oceanographers says that the strange phenomenon could have been caused in part due to a 'meteotsunami'.
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