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Sisters of the Rogue Wave: How a Freak Occurence Changed the Lives of Five Nuns Forever

Rosemary Thielman
Rosemary Thielman recovering in the hospital after being gravely injured by a rogue wave.

In April of 1977, five nuns took a week-long vacation to Grayland Beach State Park. Just south of Westport on the Washington coast, this park is known for its rolling sand dunes and expansive beaches where drift logs often wash onto the shores. 

After spending the week cooped up in a camping trailer, the sisters took one last walk when the sun finally came out. That’s where this story begins.
In a matter of seconds, water flooded the coastline and with little time to react, two sisters were overtaken by the ocean’s strong currents and flung into the air.

One became pinned underneath a massive log and feared for her life.

This is the story of how that day, a freak wave would change their lives, and their relationship with God, forever after. 
Learn more about this story, see photos and archival news clippings here.

Credit Everett Herald, via Emma Jones and Ryan McDonald

Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.