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Lost Irish beach suddenly reappears 33 years after being washed away

A rocky, hazardous beach off the west coast of Ireland deemed unfit for swimming turned into a smooth, golden paradise within the span of a few days.

Residents of County Mayo's Achill Island — the largest island off the coast of Ireland — were shocked at the stunning transformation that took place in mid-April. 

Dooagh Beach was washed away after a major winter storm hit the area in 1984. There was even more damage done after two storms rolled in back in 2014, destroying access points to the beach and washing away a road to a nearby pier.

But in April, the beach was restored to its former glory after a freak tide dumped thousands of tons of sand along 1,000 feet of the shoreline.

Residents and operators of local tourism groups are hopeful the sandy beach is here to stay.

A woman walks her dogs along Dooagh Beach in Achill days after the beach was restored to its former glory. Achill Island Tourist Office

"We are hoping that the beach will stay for 60 years; it stayed for 60 years before and went away for 30 years," Sean Molloy, manager of the Achill Island Tourist Office, told CBS News in an email Tuesday.

The island welcomes about 150,000 to 180,000 visitors each year, Molloy estimates. This year, with the hype of the "brand new" Dooagh Beach, that number is expected to increase.

"We've already had a lot of interest in our 'new' beach here in Achill this week," Molloy said.

On Tuesday, a local school took a field trip to see the sand for themselves. The Achill Island Tourist Office also showed off the beach to a group of about 50 visitors from England, who heard about the unusual phenomenon from media reports late last month.

Tourists from England travel to Achill Island to visit the "new" beach. Achill Island Tourist Office

It's a breathtaking view — but officials still aren't sure if it's safe to swim.

"We are not too sure about the sand yet," Molloy said.

Whether it's swimmable or not, Molloy said it's a welcome change.