Boynton Beach, Fla. - Curiosity is almost as big a force as Hurricane Irene is.
One moment, eight people were standing out on the jetty at Boynton Beach Inlet, the next, they were flat on their backs.
"We go all the way out to the end, and when we come back, it just hit me and I was out," said 16-year-old Lucas Tavares. "I don't remember anything after that."
Tavares was one of the eight wave-watchers who were no match for a wave that one rescuer estimated was nine-feet high.
They wound up with cuts, bruises and broken bones after the water tossed them to the concrete deck.
"It's not really describable. It was like a wall of water," said victim Spencer Kinard. "It took me, put me down, and pushed me up against the other rail and I was pretty much pinned there until the water went back out."
Rescuers were already close by and were able to treat Kinard's bumps and bruises.
"They should probably close the jetty when the surf gets that large," said Lt. Brian McManus of Palm Beach Co. Ocean Rescue.
They did close it afterwards. But not before eight people, just trying to have a good time and feel mother nature, almost lost it all.
"One guy was trapped under the metal trash cans and got beat up pretty good," said Kinard. "A lot of other people didn't see it coming and got taken down and hit their head."
The injuries are not considered life-threatening.
YouReporter Gale Witt sent photos to WPTV.com, including a photo showing the wave hitting the jetty. Gale wrote, "I was taking this picture as the wave came up over the pier. It took everyone down and washed us into the metal railing. Those injured were skinned across the concrete and landed face and head first into the metal rail. Some had leg, hip and head injuries."
Beaches across South Florida have seen large waves as a result of Hurricane Irene moving up the east coast.