First big swell of the season keeps rescuers busy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

First big swell of the season keeps rescuers busy

PUPUKEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The first high surf warning of the 2015 winter season came early, bringing monster surf to Oahu's north- and west-facing shores.

While no injuries were reported on the North Shore, officials said one man died and two others were injured at Yokohama Bay when they were swept into the water by a rogue wave. 

Meanwhile, on Kauai, high surf caused a boat to run aground and kept lifeguards busy throughout the day.

Surfers flocked to the North Shore throughout the day to catch waves. 

Forecasters said the swell would peak Tuesday, then gradually drop Wednesday. Oahu's North Shore was seeing surf with 20- to 30-foot faces, while the west side saw 15- to 20-foot faces.

"We're just checking out the surf," said surfer Elliot Wainwright. "It woke us up last night so we knew it was going to be big."

At Waimea Bay, dozens of surfers couldn't wait to take a ride on their boards.

"Everyone's got smiles on their faces. Everyone's having a good time," said surfer Hugo Aguilar.

Aguilar and his friend, Timmy Leichliter, paddled out about 11 a.m. Tuesday morning.

"Started with just three guys when we checked in a couple hours ago. You can tell everyone's got the word now," said Leichliter.

They only caught a few waves, but on a day like today, they said it was absolutely worth it.

"Your adrenaline is just pumping so fast you know it's just instinct that takes over. You're just going with the wave and trying to make smart moves," said Aguilar.
At Laniakea Beach, lifeguards placed caution tape along the shoreline warning folks not to go on the sand.

Just before noon Tuesday, a mother and a daughter vacationing from Australia were swept off the rocks. They suffered minor leg injuries, but a lifeguard managed to get them both back to shore.

Down the road at Pipeline, lifeguards estimated wave faces were between 18 -28 feet. On the shore, dozens of people snapped pictures while lifeguards kept a vigilant eye out to make sure no one got to close.

Lifeguards are urging residents and visitors to use caution when going near the ocean. 

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