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'Sneaker' wave warning extended into Tuesday night

October 22, 2013|By Jason Wells
  • A surfer hits the waves at the famous Rincon surfing point break at the Ventura and Santa Barbara County line. Forecasters have extended a warning for possible "sneaker" waves in the area until 10 p.m. Tuesday.
A surfer hits the waves at the famous Rincon surfing point break at the Ventura… (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

Forecasters have extended through Tuesday evening a warning for possible "sneaker" waves that can sweep people into, and out, to sea along the California coast.

The waves can come with little warning during a “long-period” northwest swell that has been producing large surf and rip currents, according to the National Weather Service, which first issued a warning on Monday.

The weather service extended the warning until 10 p.m. Tuesday, saying the greatest impact is along the Central Coast, from Point Piedras Blancas in San Luis Obispo County south to Point Arguello in San Barbara County.

The swell 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.

Sneaker waves were blamed in the deaths of three members of an Arcata family last year near Eureka. They died while trying to save the family dog, which got swept up in a wave near the water’s edge. A 16-year-old boy and his parents all ended up getting caught in the raging surf and perished.


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