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Big swell's tall surf forecast to endure

By Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 3:01 a.m. HST, Jul 9, 2011

Although the surf was expected to decline today, a high-surf advisory will remain in effect through 6 p.m. for all south- and east-facing shores.

"We advise everyone to have a safe weekend and make sure you check conditions before going out, especially if going offshore in a kayak, canoe or boat," said Jim Howe, city Ocean Safety Division operations chief. "Strong winds do present an additional challenge, and high surf waves may break in harbor entrances, makes navigating in and out tricky."

Five- to 8-foot surf is expected today on the south and east shores of all islands, the National Weather Services forecast. Remnants of the swell should remain until Sunday, but at levels of just 4 to 6 feet.

With a south swell that peaked in the morning, Oahu lifeguards were kept busy Friday, making 31 rescues and issuing 2,005 warnings. Most were on the South Shore: 1,550 warnings and 25 rescues. The Leeward Coast had 455 preventions and six rescues.

The largest waves Friday — with 10-foot faces — hit Honolulu's Ala Moana Bowl, China Walls and Diamond Head.

A low-pressure system southeast of New Zealand is generating the south swell, said Matt Foster, National Weather Service forecaster.

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