Witnesses said the woman, who has been identified as 60-year-old Kathleen Danise, of Waterbury, Connecticut, was launched onto rocks during an apparent explosion at the Salty Brine beach in Narragansett Saturday morning. Danise recalls reading a book before the blast.
"We watched a gentleman get ready to go scuba diving. He was putting on his scuba diving gear, and that's the last thing I remember," she said in an interview Sunday.
Danise was hospitalized with a concussion, two broken ribs and bruises, but was later released.
One beachgoer, Michele Martin, said the injured woman "went five feet up in the air" and "landed on her face."
"She was in shock, couldn't talk at all," Martin said.
While several beachgoers said they smelled gas after the explosion, a spokesman for National Grid, which manages gas and electric in the area, said there are no gas lines along the beach.
Officials have not said what caused the explosion, but stressed Saturday that there was no indication of a device or malicious intent.
David Di Filippo described hearing a crash and booming noise when it happened.
"It felt like something that was seismic or metaphysical," he said. "I thought it was a small craft that struck the jetty."
His 12-year-old son Dante said he heard someone yell bomb and called the scene on the beach "chaotic."
But the pair wasn't afraid to return to the beach today when the sand reopened.
"It's our regular spot," David Di Filippo said. "It's a beautiful day."
Danise called the beach her "favorite location" and said she had been vacationing there for 30 years. She says she's not going back anytime soon.
"Until we know what actually happened, no," she said.