Dozens rescued as warning-level surf rolls into north, west shores

Dozens rescued as warning-level surf rolls into north, west shores
Surf on the North Shore could get as high as 35 feet by Saturday afternoon.

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A high surf warning has been posted until 6 a.m. Sunday for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai and the north-facing shores of Maui, as the latest in a series of large northwest swells arrives in the islands.

A high surf advisory is also up until 6 a.m. Monday for the west-facing shores of the Big Island.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu said waves are expected to rise to 25 to 35 feet Saturday and hold overnight for the north and west shores of Niihau and Kauai, and the north shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui.

Waves will decline slightly to 20 to 28 feet Sunday for those shores.

Surf on west shores of Oahu and Molokai are forecast to build rapidly to 17 to 25 feet Saturday, then lower to 14 to 20 feet Sunday.

Waves on west shores of the Big Island are expected to rise to 6 to 10 feet Saturday afternoon, hold through Sunday, and then lower to 5 to 8 feet Sunday night.

Ocean safety officials on Kauai advised no swimming or snorkeling at north and west-facing beaches because of the high surf and dangerous ocean conditions. Lifeguards there reported waves of 25 to 40 feet on the north shore with strong rip currents.

On Oahu, city emergency management officials urged spectators to stay away from shorelines and off wet rocks, adding that surf was extremely dangerous and that only the very experienced and knowledgeable surfers should be entering the ocean.

Honolulu EMS reported 38 rescues on Oahu’s North Shore, with all but one at Waimea Bay. Lifeguards also reported more than 3,000 preventative actions, including warning people to stay away from the shoreline or to get out of the water.

On Oahu’s west shore, lifeguards performed 11 rescues and more than 1,275 preventative actions/

Because of the huge waves, beach goers should be prepared for ocean water sweeping across portions of beaches, with strong breaking waves along with strong longshore and rip currents.

The large breaking surf, significant shorebreak and dangerous currents will make entering the water very hazardous, and could result in significant injury or death.

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