Wave girl defends actions
NEW Whitsunday resident Erin-Jade Christie became an overnight sensation on YouTube and in the national media last Tuesday when she was captured standing in front of crashing waves at Cannonvale Beach in between cyclones Anthony and Yasi.
The video titled ‘Cyclone Yasi Airlie Beach- stupid girl dicing with mother nature' received more than 55,000 hits on popular social website YouTube within a week.
There were also 300 posted comments, many of which condemned the actions of the so-named ‘stupid girl' who people believed was risking her own life and the lives of others if she needed to be saved.
However, Ms Christie spoke to the Whitsunday Times with her side of the story.
Coming from the Central Coast of NSW, Erin-Jade is used to big waves and said that at no stage did she fear she was in danger when she stood behind the fence as the larger than normal swells crashed onto the rock wall beneath her.
“It was just spray from the waves, and the waves were so small,” she said.
“I didn't even lose balance or anything.”
She said there was a family with small kids doing the same thing just up from her.
The harsh comments on YouTube were like water off a duck's back, according to Erin-Jade.
“Some of the comments are pretty harsh, but I didn't take them to heart,” she said.
She only moved to the Whitsundays on the Sunday while everyone was bunkering down in preparation for Cyclone Anthony.
“I'd never seen cyclones; it's my first time in the Whitsundays – first time this far up,” she said.
She didn't know too much about stingers either, but said she would be more wary next time she went near the Coral Sea.
Erin's family friend, Cannonvale resident Bob Spees also saw no danger in what Erin-Jade was doing.
“I was just laughing,” he said.
Bob can be heard in the background of the video laughing and saying, “get out of there you goose.”