Roughly 100 people rescued during south swell - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Roughly 100 people rescued during south swell

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Surfers all around the state are resting their tired arms after several days of pumping surf.

"I took off on one bomb...exploded both my fins off," said a surfer at Point Panic.

The south swell has been slamming surfers for three days and counting now.

"Yeah...um...it looks like the reef got a hold of me," body boarder Tom Molina said looking at his ripped surf shorts.

Ocean Safety & Lifeguard Services on Oahu even called in extra lifeguards to patrol the beaches from Kewalos to Sandy Beach.

"It has been a very busy day…two very busy days. A lot of lifeguard action out there assisting people who maybe went over their head or maybe didn't know what they were getting into," said Lt. William Ingram with Ocean Safety.

Over the past two days on Oahu's south shore alone, lifeguards warned more than 2,400 people, rescuing roughly 100 of them, including a near drowning at Sandy Beach on Sunday.

“There are thousands of people in the water in Waikiki every day so it's not unusual that we would warn a thousand people. It's unusual that we would warn them of big surf though," Ingram said.

Longtime surfers say these are the biggest waves since August 2011 when an historic week-long swell lit up the entire state.

"I'm used to Sandy Beach. So when you can get waves like this, that just keep going and going, it's 9, 10, easy," said Keawe Liu.

The peak of the surf is behind and the waves will slowly drop through the week. That means giving more novice surfers a chance to find some "fun-sized" surf without the fear.

“I don't care how much fun it is, just make sure that it's safe fun. We want everyone to enjoy themselves but we don't want anything bad to happen that's why we're there," said Ingram.

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