NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big waves on the North Shore kept most people out of the water. But some still decided to brave the rough conditions.
Ocean Safety officials said lifeguards rescued 12 people along the east shore and two people on Oahu's North Shore on Thanksgiving. They took more than 3,400 preventative actions to keep people safe.
"It's the mecca for surfing, you know? It's the best place for surfing in the world," said Gustavo Borges, a surfer visiting from Brazil.
It was a sizable swell but shredded by stiff trades. Only a few surfers took the chance at Sunset Beach while dozens stood back in awe.
"Enjoying the tropical weather. We're in from San Francisco. We're visiting my brother who lives in Kailua. We're just out checking out the waves today," said Ric Fenton.
Ocean Safety was anticipating 35-foot faces on Thanksgiving, but sets topped out under 25 feet.
"It is a non-recreational swim day. There's really no safe places where you can enter the water today on the North Shore. Stay off of wet rocks, stay back from wet sand, abide by warning signs, do not cross caution tape, and most importantly, listen to your lifeguard," said Ocean Safety Lt. Kerry Atwood.
Despite some slow spots, traffic wasn't too bad.
Down the coast in Waiahole was brown water runoff a Mokolii Island, also known as Chinaman's Hat, as the recent rains runoff into the ocean.
On the Big Island, where the northeast swell delivered the brunt of its energy, it was bigger than expected.
Kalanianaole Street in Keaukaha closed because of the pounding waves and debris on the roadway. Hilo's Bayfront Highway was also briefly shut down. The wash up flooded streets and parks and all county beach parks in the area remain closed.
No damage was reported, but plenty of spectators took in the sights.