NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — A swell that caused a 78-foot wave in New Zealand is bringing prime surfing conditions to Southern California – along with dangerous rip currents.
A beach hazards statement went into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday in both L.A. and Orange counties and is due to expire Thursday afternoon in OC, and later that night in LA County.READ MORE: Public Health Officials Lift Warnings For Certain LA County Beaches
Experienced surfers were out early Wednesday to revel in the waves that were expected bring waves as high as 7 feet. But the more urgent concern is the rip current.
“When you’re actually in it, and out there in the water and feeling the power and getting sucked around and stuff, it’s really incredible,” surfer Derek Hameister said.READ MORE: Fourth Officer Who Responded To January 6 Attack Dies By Apparent Suicide
“There is an increased risk for ocean drowning,” a National Weather Service statement said. “Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can wash people off beaches and rocks and capsize small boats near shore.”
Newport Beach Fire says at least one surfer has been injured due to the high surf — he got a cut on his head from his surfboard. Extra lifeguards are on duty to keep everyone safe.MORE NEWS: 'People On This Block Are Hurting': More Allegations Pinned On LAPD In Aftermath Of South LA Fireworks Explosion
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