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Sunday, November 23, 2014         

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Runoff mixes surf and turf

Waves, smaller than forecast for yesterday, broke brown and dirty

By Dan Nakaso

POSTED:


Monster waves of 30 feet and more failed to materialize along the Leeward Coast of Oahu yesterday, but the bumpy, brown ocean was still rough enough for Danilo Cacalda to pull his boat out of Waianae Small Boat Harbor.

Cacalda drove his 17-foot Glasspar boat through brown, frothy waves of 6 to 10 feet that were still big enough to encourage him to give up a solo day of fishing and tow his boat back home to Waipahu.

"I got scared," Cacalda said, "so I came back in."

Roman Tote and his buddies spent about four hours on the ocean in a 25-foot Glasspar before giving up. "It's dirty out there," Tote said.

Sherwin Caraang, the boat's owner, added, "And rough."

The west- and north-facing shores were expected to be hit by waves of 25 to 30 feet yesterday because of a large west-northwest swell that was forecast to make conditions unusually treacherous for harbors along leeward shores.

Instead, the waves were thick and brown -- but not gigantic -- for most of yesterday along the Leeward Coast.

Lifeguards on the North Shore reported 1,000 preventive actions as well as three rescues and two assists with watercraft.

A surfer in his 30s was in critical condition yesterday after running into trouble at Waimea Bay.

Another surfer found the man at about noon while checking on a board floating inside the break, said a dispatcher with Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division.

The surfer was underwater still connected to the board by his leash.

A lifeguard on a personal watercraft and lifeguards on the beach saw the surfer trying to make the rescue and helped bring the man back to shore. Lifeguards performed CPR on him until paramedics arrived.

An EMS spokesman said the man was taken in critical condition to a hospital.

The surf at Waimea Bay was about 10 to 15 feet, lifeguards said.

A high-surf warning remains in effect until noon today.

The National Weather Service continued to forecast wave heights of 12 to 20 feet for west-facing shores early this morning, dropping to 8 to 15 feet by this afternoon.

North-facing shores are expected to see waves of nearly 25 feet this morning, falling to 15 to 20 feet this afternoon.

Another large northwest swell is forecast to arrive and bring high surf to west- and north-facing shores Wednesday night into early Friday, the weather service said.

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Star-Advertiser reporter Rob Shikina contributed to this report.






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