Many treated to biggest swell of the year by far

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

SUNSET BEACH (KHNL) - Many on the North Shore of Oahu were treated to the biggest swell of the year by far on Friday.

Ocean Safety personnel say wave heights reached up 20 feet at some points during the day.

Officials say the swell peak earlier Friday morning with surf heights in the 12 to 15 foot face range. They also say it's beginning to calm down.

However, lifeguards are still asking people to check with them before going into North Shore waters throughout the weekend.

The Macombers moved to Oahu 10 days ago. Just in time to see what mother nature had in store for the North Shore.

"It's amazing, it's hard to believe that people are actually out there surfing, they've got to be really brave, I wouldn't even go and wait in the water, but it's amazing," Beachgoer Denise Macomber said.

But it's not the first time they've seen this type of surf.

"I lived here 18 years and I used to come and watch the surfers but it's been a long time," she said. "We ventured out and had to search for parking for awhile, looks like everybody's out watching the surfers looking at the waves today."

Many surfers paddled out into the double digit wave heights. This brought out the crowds, the traffic and a lost fin.

"I get a little nervous because I'm a mom," Macomber said. "I would hate that to be my son out there, but obviously they know what they're doing or they wouldn't attempt it."

There were no reports of serious injuries, but lifeguards issued more than a thousand verbal warnings, to go along with eight rescues.

"We were here a couple of months ago and the waves were really small, so we saw on the news, it was going to very large waves," Macomber said. "Mother nature's incredible."

An incredible sight shared by many, including the Macombers.

The swell is being generated by the remnants of a typhoon that threatened parts of Asia last week. A high-surf advisory for most of the state remains in effect until 6 a.m. tomorrow.