Hawaii north shores brace for 50-foot waves

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The waves on Oahu’s North Shore will only get bigger overnight and into the morning of Saturday, Jan. 16. Lifeguards are ready for dangerous situations and advising onlookers not to get too close to the water.

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Surfer Alden Funk said, he already felt the force from the waves by the evening of Friday, Jan. 15.

Funk said, “You can tell there’s energy coming in you know, it’s going to be pretty big tomorrow.”

Forecasters predict 50-foot-tall waves for the morning of Saturday, Jan. 15. This means extended hours and high alert for Honolulu Ocean Safety.

Honolulu Emergency Services spokesperson Shayne Enright said, swimming will not be allowed in North Shore beaches.

“We are expecting a huge but very dangerous surf to come in,” Enright said. “This is going to be surf that we have not seen in the past three to four years.”

Surfer Kade Hansen said, he will not be in the water on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Hansen said, “It’s going to be huge, I mean, just not made for that personally.”

A National Weather Service high surf warning is in effect for all north and west-facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai. The north shores on Maui is also on high surf warning.

While a high surf advisory for north facing shores of the big island is also in place.

On Maui, Baldwin and Hookipa beach parks will be closed for the weekend due to possible dangerous conditions.

Oahu officials said, they will monitor conditions on Kamehameha Highway for possible closures.

Enright said, the dangerous conditions extends to onlookers.

“Our main concern is those people who have no intention of going into the ocean but get close and get pulled in,” Enright said. “They just get whipped of their feet and pulled into the ocean and aren’t able to get out.”

Many are already considering ways to enjoy the massive waves from a safe distance.

Hansen said, “I mean, I got two little keiki, so yes just keeping up by a tree or even at home.”

The high surf warning will remain in effect through the morning of Sunday, Jan. 17. Ocean safety reminds people not to hesitate to call 911 in case of an emergency.

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