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National Weather Service: Beware Of Big Waves At Bay Area Beaches

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A wave breaks on the Pacifica Pier (Erik Simonson)

A wave breaks on the Pacifica Pier (Erik Simonson)

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Tim Ryan graduated from CSU Chico with a Journalism degree and work...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Large waves have been hammering the San Francisco coastline and officials are warning all but the best of swimmers to stay out of the dangerous surf.

The National Weather Service issued a “coastal hazard statement” on Thursday for Northern California beaches from Sonoma County to Monterey, saying coastal spots could see waves as high as 10 feet, occasional “sneaker waves” and strong rip tides on Thursday, forecaster Christine Riley said.

“It affects all of coastal Northern California,” Riley said. “Especially west-facing beaches will see the biggest swells.”

Strong winds developing over the Pacific Ocean off of Northern California are causing the swell, she said.

At San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, Oakland surfer Matt Harvey put his board in near the Beach chalet in on Thursday and said a strong current dragged him north about a half mile to the rocks off of the Cliff House restaurant.

“There’s a strong rip current pulling you towards the north; it’s a lot to paddle against,” he said.

Harvey said the waves were big but good for surfing.

“You can get exhausted if you paddle against it for a really long time but you got to be smart enough to know when you’re getting tired and decide to come in so you don’t get stuck have to get rescued,” he said.

Last Thanksgiving three family members died trying to save a dog that wandered into the surf along the coast in Humboldt County.

Lindsay O’Connell, who walked her dog Gus along Ocean Beach, said she encouraged him to stay out of the ocean.

“He kind of goes off and does what he wants though; he’s got some instincts, I think,” she said.

The hazard statement— which is less serious than a high-surf warning or advisory—was issued to make the public aware of unusual and potentially dangerous conditions.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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