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Darwin party on a sandbar engulfed by changing tide as 600 flee

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Dramatic moment 600 revelers rush to safety as the tide turns as revelers dance on a sandbar and threaten to swallow them

  • About 600 revelers gathered for a huge sandbar rave at Cullen Bay in Darwin
  • After the tide quickly turned, revelers continued to clamber to the safety of boats
  • Images have been taken of the partygoers clinging to floating objects and boats
  • While those intoxicated tried to return to shore










Hundreds of revelers had to run for their lives when the tide suddenly turned and threatened to engulf a sandbar with a wild party.

Chaotic footage shows the 600-strong crowd trying to get to safety 400 meters from Cullen Bay in Darwin, where revelers gathered for Saturday’s rave.

As sea levels rose sharply, revelers climbed aboard a boat, while others clung to floating objects to survive.

Water police were called for assistance after several boats collided in the chaos and the overload of small boats resulted in one capsized.

Arguments between groups on boats also took place and a 48-year-old man was taken to the Royal Darwin Hospital for assessment.

“The NT Water Police section continues to investigate a number of identified maritime violations,” said watch commander Xavier McMahon.

“People don’t realize how quickly a situation can change with the NT tides, and it was disappointing to see such a large crowd being so irresponsible and endangering so many people.

“About 300 liters of alcohol were seized and destroyed.”

600 partygoers seek safety after attending a sandbar party 400 meters from Cullen Bay in Darwin (pictured, the huge gathering)

After the tide rose quickly, the sandbar quickly submerged, causing revelers to try to find safety on boats (pictured, a party-goer finds the safety of a boat)

After the tide rose quickly, the sandbar quickly submerged, causing revelers to try to find safety on boats (pictured, a party-goer finds the safety of a boat)

NT News claimed that some boat operators who took partygoers to the sandbar initially asked to be paid in drugs.

The organizers of the party said revelers were responsible for their own safety after the horrific scenes.

They rented a boat to take people back and forth to the sandbar, but hadn’t taken into account the huge tide change.

The organizers also had a QR code for Covid-19 check-in for people arriving at the party.

Lucy Beare, who attended the party, said that when the tide started to come, the music stopped and everyone was told to go back to shore.

“Everyone was stranded on the bar and standing there asking for lifts,” another partygoer said NT News.

Some were left stranded, hanging from floating objects before being rescued (photo, attendees hang for safety)

Some were left stranded, hanging from floating objects before being rescued (photo, attendees hang for safety)

Other onlookers said there were more than 20 boats bringing people back from the island, and the music shook storefronts on the shore.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Billy Lynch said organizers underestimate the highs and lows of spring tides.

“They would have gone to the sandbar because of the low tide,” he said.

“But you also get a good flood and when that happens, it comes on pretty quickly.”

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