WAIMEA BAY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A delayed swell may have led to the cancellation of the Eddie Aikau surf contest at Waimea Bay on Wednesday, but the big waves came in nonetheless, keeping lifeguards busy until late in the day.
Lifeguards rescued 15 people at Waimea Bay, and performed 2,300 preventive actions.
Meanwhile, 21 rescues and more than 3,000 preventive actions were performed across the rest of the North Shore.
Even with the Eddie called off, there were still thousands of people on the beach and many of them in the water -- including a number of inexperienced swimmers, which created a hazardous situation for Ocean Safety officials as the swell began to roll in.
"Amateur hour is over. Please guys, come on back to the beach. Thank you," a Waimea Bay lifeguard announced over a loud speaker.
Kerry Atwood, an Ocean Safety officer, told Hawaii News Now, "This is double black diamond. This is experts only."
West-facing shores also saw some action, with 18 rescues and 1,100 preventive actions.