Malibu Pier Remains Closed Due to High Surf

One man was pulled from the water Wednesday morning by surfers including legend Laird Hamilton

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Pro-surfer Laird Hamilton, famous for his big wave surfing, said the big surf pounding SoCal beaches has the power to kill. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. from Malibu Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (Published Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014)

    Malibu Pier was closed Wednesday after a day of dangerously high surf in which the pier was damaged and a man died.

    The surfer, a man in his 50s, was pulled from the water unconscious near Surfrider Beach around Tuesday morning.

    "He was found unconscious," said Los Angeles County Lifeguard Capt. Tim McNulty. "I don't know if he suffered some sort of trauma or had some kind of medical issue."

    Wednesday morning, a second man lost his surfboard in the relentless waves and was pulled by fellow surfers to shore - among them surfing legend Laird Hamilton. Hamilton said he'd never seen the surf so big in Malibu.

    Relentless Waves Lead to Rescues, Closure of Pier in Malibu

    [LA] Relentless Waves Lead to Rescues, Closure of Pier in Malibu
    Higher-than-expected waves lead to at least one death and another rescue along the Malibu beaches. Gordon Tokumatsu reports live for NBC4 News at Noon August 27, 2014. (Published Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014)

    "People aren't educated, so they don't really realize, like, hey, it's breaking houses and drowning people," he said. "You know, it has a power to kill and so respect that and don't run out there thinking that you're going to come out here and ride a big wave today."

    Towering waves caused at least one structure to fall into the ocean Wednesday night. A small lifeguard building at Sycamore Canyon Beach sustained heavy damage during the day and was swept out to sea about 9:30 p.m.

    A high surf advisory is in effect for Los Angeles County , Ventura County and Orange County through Friday as Hurricane Marie is moving through the Pacific and will send some of the highest surf, expected to be between 10 and 15 feet, to the California coastline.

    Fifteen-foot waves were reported in some areas Tuesday night.

    Surfers, Swimmers Urged to Avoid Beaches As Storm Surge Nears

    [LA] Surfers, Swimmers Urged to Avoid Beaches As Storm Surge Nears
    Residents are being urged to stay out of the water at local beaches as a storm surge brings high waves and strong riptides to SoCal. Michelle Valles reports live from Long Beach for Today in LA August 26, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014)

    California State Parks closed the pier after it was partially damaged Tuesday afternoon. It’s possible the pier will be closed through Friday.

    Popular beach areas in Rancho Palos Verdes were also closed Wednesday because of the high surf advisory.

    On Tuesday, lifeguards responded to a swimmer-in-distress call in Palos Verdes.

    Portuguese Point, Sacred Cove and Inspiration Point were expected to be closed through Friday.

    A safety task force will also be in effect in Rancho Palos Verdes over Labor Day weekend.

    According to the National Weather Service, the areas most likely affected by the swells are the peninsula cities including Long Beach, Cabrillo Beacj and Point Fermin; Malibu and Zuma beaches; and Port Hueneme, Point Mugu, Oxnard Shores and County line in Ventura County.

    "We're advising people not to go into the water unless you're an expert surfer or expert swimmer with fins," said Chris Linkletter, a LA County Lifeguard Section Chief. "Everybody needs to consult with the lifeguard on duty to find out where the safest place to be is on the beach."