Warning-level swell draws curious onlookers to Oahu’s North Shore

Massive surf draws crowds to Oahu's North Shore

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big crowds flocked to Oahu’s North Shore, drawn by the sight of massive surf.

Lt. John Hoogsteden of Honolulu Ocean Safety said the swells on Saturday were the biggest they have seen in several years.

With a high surf warning issued, Honolulu Ocean Safety taped off all beaches.

“We have waves that are in the traditional scale, 20-25 foot at least maybe even a little larger waves,” said Hoogsteden. “Wave faced heights are probably in the 40-60 foot waves, again, it’s not a day for any recreational activity.”

According to Honolulu Safety, 31 rescues were made on the North Shore and 58 rescues on the west side.

With the waves at hazardous levels, many opted to stay on-shore to catch the swells from land.

At Rockpiles Beach the surf was so large it reached the highway.

“We did see one lady kind of get knocked off her bike over there,” said Kurtis Kowalua of Las Vegas as he pointed to the highway. “Because it came up so unexpectedly on them.”

“We are asking the public to stay away from the sandy areas of all beaches,” said Hoogsteden. “The smooth sand they must stay off smooth sand because waves have been there and waves will wash up there again.”

Honolulu Ocean Safety said the surf will continue to be large and dangerous on Sunday.

The National Weather Service is also expecting another warning-level swell Monday, and has extended a high surf warning until 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials strongly urge people to stay far away from the shoreline, stay off wet rocks and to not turn your back to the ocean.

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