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Big waves endanger 28 in Waikiki

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    A surfer rides a large wave at Ala Moana Bowls.

Lifeguards made more than two dozen ocean rescues Tuesday in Waikiki as waves rose to 6 feet in seasonal South Shore high surf.

"This is definitely our high-surf season," said National Weather Service meteorologist Derek Wroe. Large swells are typical for June, when storms form southeast of New Zealand, he said.

The weather service issued a high-surf advisory through 6 a.m. Thursday for south-facing shores of all islands. Waves are forecast to reach 6 to 10 feet today.

City Ocean Safety Division workers rescued 28 people and warned more than 250 about hazardous conditions Tuesday, said Shayne Enright, spokes­woman for the city Department of Emergency Services.

"This is way above average," said Ocean Safety operations chief Jim Howe.

Howe said that on average, Ocean Safety workers rescue about seven people a week.

He said the number jumped partially because of a combination of higher-than-normal surf and a large number of visitors in Waikiki.


"We’ve been experiencing an extremely high volume in beach attendance," he said.

Lifeguards made no rescues at Ala Moana Beach Park or Sandy Beach, where more of the beachgoers are residents who are aware of ocean hazards, officials said.

Also Tuesday, two girls being pulled out to sea off Lahi­lahi Point in Laie were assisted Tuesday afternoon after a wave washed them off a ledge near a condominium, Howe said. A lifeguard on a personal watercraft rescued them, he said.

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