This piece was originally published by The Inertia.
Yesterday saw a major swell event smack into the Hawaiian coastline, with wave faces in the 15- to 20-foot range, eight to 10 on the Hawaiian surf scale. And while the Pipeline and Sunset edits haven't hit the web yet, the rescue news (and videos) have. According to reports, Ocean Safety conducted 57 different rescues on the island of Oahu, 32 taking place on the West Side and fabled North Shore.
It's been a busy day," said Lieutenant Kerry Atwood of Honolulu Ocean Safety with classic Hawaiian understatement. "We've had rescues up and down the coastline. High volume of people here at our beach parks, on our beach, on our unguarded areas. So yes, it's been a busy day. Due to the large interest in surfing now because of the lockdown, and surfing being one of the acceptable activities, much more people are venturing out in the water. So it poses a problem for us where we have inexperienced surfers, or maybe surfers who maybe haven't done it for years that are now doing it again. That's been a concern for us."
As Lt. Atwood hoped, the swell has come down a decent bit over the past 12 hours, and size is now in the six- to eight-foot range. It's officially winter on the North Shore again, folks.