South Shore gets wraparound effect, tour boats anchored, lifegua - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

South Shore gets wraparound effect, tour boats anchored, lifeguards busy

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A rare treat for surfers on the south shore of Oahu. 

The large swell that hit the north shore, provided a wraparound effect, sending the surf to summertime heights Thursday.

While the experienced surfers enjoyed the unusual treat, the inexperienced kept lifeguards busy.

"We've had a lot of broken boards and a lot of people being separated from their equipment," says Paul Merino, Lifeguard Captain for the south shore.

In Waikiki alone, Ocean Safety Officials reported 84 rescues. And 378 of what they call "Preventative Actions." Preventative actions are verbal warnings or anything that prevents people from getting into trouble. 

"The wave is quite consistent so it's not giving people a chance to get out, or when they lose their equipment, to swim out to get it," Merino says.

"I lost my board today. (I) had to swim in and get it," says John Tracy, who didn't mind chasing after his board, "The conditions are really good, low tide, and clean."

But the high surf forced tour companies in Waikiki to anchor the boats.

"The sets were a little too big to get into the channel safely," says Stephen Arrant, a Captain for Island Magic Catamaran, "It's a little bit too much to be comfortable putting passengers on the boat, so we went ahead and called it."

Arrant estimates they lost upwards of $2,000 by canceling tours for the day.

Lifeguards patrolled the waters off Waikiki Beach using jet skis and those on shore kept close watch from the towers.

Forecasters predicted the north shore swell would provide something for everybody and more is expected.

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