Lifeguards on alert as swells size up - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lifeguards on alert as swells size up

Ocean safety issued numerous warnings to beach goers on Wednesday Ocean safety issued numerous warnings to beach goers on Wednesday
Bryan Cheplic Bryan Cheplic
Jennifer Linden Jennifer Linden
This family from Texas decided to stay out of the water This family from Texas decided to stay out of the water

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

NORTH SHORE (KHNL) - The waves are growing to super-sized heights on Oahu's North Shore, as the entire island gets ready for some epic waves.

They were predicted to be big Wednesday, but Mother Nature didn't quite deliver. With potentially powerful and destructive winds on the way, the swells are likely to soar.

But, from spectators to experienced surfers, the waves still attracted audiences from all over looking to catch sights of the big swells.

With no major incidents reported, the day was a relatively safe one on Oahu's North Shore.

What does that tell ocean safety? It means it's doing its job.

Lifeguards are on the lookout.

"Please stand back this is not a beginners place," said an Ocean Safety Lifeguard.

With swells expected to size up to 30-feet, this is where their experience and training kicks in.

"They're good waterman and they're familiar with all the idiosyncrasies out here with all the beaches they guard. The reefs, the tides, the weather conditions, the wind conditions," said Ocean Safety Spokesman Bryan Cheplic.

The size of the swell is turning a Texas family of beginner swimmers into spectators.

"We've been watching all day standing at the edge getting splashed to keep us cool but definitely not going in the water," said Texas visitor Jennifer Linden.

At 12 to 15-feet the swells so far are below expectations, officials say they're only going to get bigger. While they performed no rescues, lifeguards give about 500 warnings, about average on a day like this.

"They're not only reactive, they're proactive and that's why you see our preventative numbers so high," said Cheplic.

With waves expected to intensify, lifeguards stand ready to jump into action, as beach-goers revel in this magnificent sight.

As the bigger waves roll in, Ocean Safety says if you're inexperienced stay out of the water. For accelerated surfers, take two minutes and check wave and weather conditions with lifeguards before you go out.

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