Lifeguards Urge Caution in Big Surf

High surf already causing issues

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    San Diego Lifeguards urged caution ahead of the holiday weekend as high waves pound local beaches as the National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory, expected to remain in effect until 2 p.m. on Sunday.

    Forecasters warned that south facing beaches could see sets of 11 to 12 foot waves on Friday and 10 foot waves were possible on Saturday.

    Lifeguards Urge Caution in Big Surf

    [DGO] Lifeguards Urge Caution in Big Surf
    Forecasters warned some beaches could see sets of 11 to 12 foot waves on Friday and 10 foot ones Saturday. (Published Friday, Sept. 2, 2011)

    Lt. John Everhard of San Diego Lifeguards advised beach-goers to check with lifeguards when arriving at the coast to be aware of dangerous areas.

    "[Watch for] rip currents and lateral movement down the beach if there's any obstruction like a pier or a rock jetty." said Everhart. "Rip currents is where we make most of our rescues along the coast."

    The high surf had already caused problems. 

    On Friday morning, Lifeguards rescued a swimmer in La Jolla Cove who was pushed dangerously close to rocks by the large waves.

    Ocean Beach Pier was also closed during the week as waves splashed over the pier's rails. 

    "During the summertime, it's almost unheard of.  I've been working a long time here.  This is the first time I remember the pier being closed due to surf," said Everhart.

    The waves excited surfers who reveled in the rare conditions. "Compared to the normal waves this is actually really good out here, especially for summertime," said Ocean Beach resident Bob Thomas. "For August, most of the time it's really, really flat.  Earlier there were some solid six to eight foot bombs out there.  It was going off."