August, September, and October often provides California divers with optimal conditions. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case this weekend, especially in southern California.
Thanks to Hurricane Marie, towering waves and strong rip currents have been seen and are forecast up and down the entire California coastline. The storm itself is far out in the Pacific Ocean, about 800 miles west of the southern tip of the Baja peninsula and predicted to stay far offshore.
In Malibu, The Malibu Pier was closed after pilings were knocked loose on Wednesday, and one surfer was killed in the strong waves. L.A. County lifeguards made 115 rescues Tuesday, officials said. Newport Beach experienced minor flooding and 20-foot tall waves, and two cargo terminals at the Port of Long Beach stopped operations late Tuesday because surging, 10- to 15-foot-high waves endangered dockworkers.
On Catalina Island, a heavy surge Tuesday night sent sand, water and some 3,000-pound rocks into the Pebbly Beach boatyard (east of Avalon Bay), causing substantial damage and tossing some dry-docked boats off their stands.
High surf advisories are in effect for the coastline around Los Angeles, where waves will likely peak around 10 to 15 feet. The Los Angeles Times reports that waves could be higher along shorelines that are more favorable for breakers.
Here is a live view of the ocean at Malibu:
Lifeguards up and down the coast tried to keep anyone out of the water who did not have strong experience, and were kept busy making rescues all day. And it’s definitely not the time for scuba divers to be attempting shore entries.
Further north, Monterey is currently predicting swells of 3-8 feet into Saturday. A live cam of the ocean at Cannery Row can be seen by clicking here.
Large waves and surf from Marie were likely to reach their peak on Wednesday and Thursday, though the unusually large surf was expected to continue into Friday. Be sure to check conditions before heading out, and always evaluate them carefully before entering the water.