North Shore residents scramble to protect their homes as monster swell rolls in

Published: Dec. 31, 2019 at 11:02 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The first monster swell of the winter season had North Shore residents Monday scrambling to protect their homes and properties.

Rocky Point resident Todd Dunphy said he and his neighbors were making sandbags to try to keep the waves at bay. As nighttime fell on Monday, the waves crept closer to the backyards of oceanfront properties and some residents near Sunset Beach prepared for a long, wet night.

“All these giant west swells, it always ends up in my yard, all of us," Dunphy said.

Earlier in the day, lifeguards scrambled to keep people safe.

Ocean Safety officials said at least 30 people needed to be rescued from Oahu’s north and west-facing shores.

Big surf

#LIVE: A large northwest swell is pushing up surf on Oahu's North Shore! Here's a live look from Waimea Bay. #HINews #HNN

Posted by Hawaii News Now on Monday, December 30, 2019

At Waimea Bay, a body surfer was scolded after he ignored posted signs and repeated warnings from lifeguards to stay out of the water.

And at Shark’s Cove, one woman got rolled on jagged lava rocks in the tide pools and walked away with bloody and scraped legs.

“It’s been an extremely busy day,” said lifeguard Lt. Kerry Atwood.

"We’ve had lots of rescues. We’ve had lifeguards performing rescues with fins, tubes and rescue boards, the old-fashioned way and we’ve had quite a few rescues with our rescue craft."

The big waves brought out big crowds ― and bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Rick Fredericks, who is visiting from Australia, said the waves left him in awe.

“I’ve never seen waves like this before. It’s just amazing and there’s surfers out there. They’re unbelievable catching those big waves,” he said.

The swell was so big it almost prompted the “Eddie,” but the contest was called off due to questions about the timing and size of the swell.

Surfer Makua Rothman and other pros are hoping it runs before the holding period closes at the end of February.

“It’s just doing what it’s supposed to, come up all day Monday and be cracking Tuesday so just going to go out there and try a new board and try and have some fun and catch a few waves,” Rothman said.

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.