Surfers may be out today looking for that extra big wave, but beachwalkers should beware! California County News reports that a warning was issued on Monday and then extended until Tuesday night for beachgoers to be wary of “sneaker” waves along the California coastline. Sneaker waves are swells that come with little warning and sweep people off their feet and into the ocean, the National Weather Service says. These are part of a large northwest swell that is resulting in dangerous swells and rip currents all across the state.
Experts say that the central coast has the highest risk for such waves. Anyone near the ocean from San Luis Obispo County to Santa Barbara County should be vigilant for unexpected large swells.
Similar waves are said to be responsible for the death of a Humboldt County family last year. They were swept up in the strong currents when trying to rescue the family dog and drowned.
Winter swells could produce high surf of 7 to 10 feet, with local sets of up to 12 feet along beaches facing and west to northwest, the weather service warned. The swells are also creating strong rip currents that can pull people far out into the ocean once swept in.
The weather service also warned against fishing from rocks and jetties. Be safe and never turn your back on the ocean.