Big, Sloppy Waves Roll into Oahu's North Shore

Mike Myers
Mike Myers
Capt. Bodo Van Der Leeden
Capt. Bodo Van Der Leeden
Chris Minoravich
Chris Minoravich

NORTH SHORE (KHNL) - Waves as big as 30-feet pound Oahu's north shore Tuesday. The rough conditions keep almost everyone out of the water, but it's still a busy day for lifeguards.

They warn more than 450 people about getting too close to the water.

"They're putting signs, taping off dangerous areas of the beach where people shouldn't walk because they could get swept away," said Capt. Bodo Van Der Leeden, of Oahu's Ocean Safety Division.

Because only experts were allowed in, their work was to make sure everyone else stayed safe.

Because of the high winds, waves were blown out and sloppy -- not ideal for surfers.

"It's pretty bumpy out there," said surfer Mike Myers.

"They are, for very experienced big wave surfers, not particularly dangerous, but they're also not particularly enticing," said Van Der Leeden.

That all depends on who you ask.

"They're small," said Chris Minoravich. "I've seen larger waves bodysurfing."

Even so, lifeguards wouldn't let him -- or anyone else they didn't feel was an expert -- get in the water.

"Came all the way from Long Island to do this, to ride the big waves," said Minoravich. "I'll just wait for it to be a little smaller."

At Alii beach park, firefighters were in the sky and on shore, and lifeguards were in the water, searching for a missing surfer.

"Two people surfing and then we just noticed one guy sitting up, straddling his board sitting down with the board next to it," said Alex Sauniere.

But after about two hours, they found out no one was missing, everyone was okay.

"We'd rather have a call and check it out than have people wait and it be too late," said Van Der Leeden.

Lifeguards will determine Wednesday whether to open North Shore beaches. They remind everyone to always swim at a beach with lifeguards, feel free to ask them about the conditions, and know your limits.