"The outside of the windows started smashing. There was glass everywhere, it wasn't safe for anyone.
"It's like I've never seen before and, touch wood, I hope never to see it again."
Stephen Caunter, general manager of the restaurant, said they would probably have to cancel wedding bookings due to the damage caused.
He added: "I believe most of the cars in the car park are either gone, underwater or a write-off."
Cherry Waite, who was at the restaurant for a Valentine's Day meal, described hearing the sound of shingle hitting the glass windows.
"Because we were all happy and enjoying ourselves it was a bit like the Titanic," she said. "There's tides and rain nipping up from the outside."
Chief Inspector Gary Cooper, who co-ordinated the rescue, said:
"Last night's joint operation to rescue 32 people from the restaurant was probably the most difficult joint operation I have been involved in in 28 years of policing.
"The extreme weather conditions of stones being thrown from the beach with the power of the wind to smash windscreens of fire engines and military trucks was almost like they were being shot from a rifle. All the windows in the restaurant were smashed
"The extreme weather shifted boulders on to the roadway which meant that the army and other rescuers had to move the boulders to get to the restaurant, which would have been completely impassable had we not had the benefit of the two military lorries with their high ground clearance.
"Officers from the Force Support Unit who are water trained led the rescue team which comprised of police officers and coastguard staff. All diners at the restaurant were evacuated on the two military lorries and escorted by police to the recreation centre at Lymington.
"The combined efforts of the emergency services in rescuing people from the restaurant was supported by the local authority teams at the rest centre, where they completed a triage process to ensure that no-one was injured and everyone's welfare was taken care of."
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