Safety stressed amid high waves rolling into San Diego


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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Dennis Andersen’s been looking out at the waves at ocean beach through his camera lens for nearly 30 years.

“There much bigger today than they have been,” Andersen said. “Compared to a normal day around here which is a two to three maybe four swells. These are three times the size. And then on Saturday, they’re supposed to be four to five times the size.”

San Diego Fire-Rescue told ABC 10News on Thursday that the National Weather Service is issuing three different advisories with the high surf starting Thursday through early Monday morning.

“This is would be expert only. We always ask people to do their own self inventory, what have you been doing to train to surf in these kinds of waves,” Lt. Lonnie Stephens, San Diego Fire-Rescue, said when it comes to safety regarding the waves.

Lieutenant Stephens told ABC 10News their recommendation is to stay out of the water all together if you aren’t experienced.

One surfer says that’s smart way to look at the swell.

“I mean you wouldn’t want to learn in this weather that’s for sure. These little white water guys; you could go out in that. You just wouldn’t want to get too close to the Pier that’s where the rip is and you’ll get pulled out. So, don’t want that,” Casey Stroosma said.

Stephens said if you’re hanging out on the shore, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch the waves.

“There might not be big waves for 5 minutes. They got out of their car, or they walk down on to the tide pool and then a 10-to-20-foot wave sets come through and wash a whole family into the ocean,” Stephens said.

Ocean will be bringing big waves but, Stephens said extra lifeguards and all equipment like these jet skis and boats will be at the ready to help someone in need.

As we wait for the waves to weaken on Monday morning, the message is very simple.

“This is life threatening conditions so, if you’re not an experienced ocean swimmer or surfer then you should stay out of the water,” Stephens said.

And watch from a distance like Dennis.

“I would heed the advice. It’s dangerous out there,” Andersen said. “You see me I’m totally dry. I’ve surfed for years, and I wouldn’t go out in it.”

Lieutenant Stephens with fire-Rescue also said rip currents can be hazardous and deadly on a calm day; when you have big waves, everything is multiplied.

Safety stressed amid high waves rolling into San Diego

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