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Central Coast beachgoers cautioned to stay back during massive wave event

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Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 23:03:08-05

People are flocking to Central Coast beaches to see some massive waves.

As cool as this weather event may be, the big waves can do some major damage and emergency responders say it's important not to get too close because you could get hurt or swept out to sea.

The massive waves caught the eye of Cayucos resident Callie Main during her morning walk.

She says these are the biggest waves she's seen in 45 years of living by the beach.

“You could see the waves hitting the rock and it was almost like a blowhole and it was like ka-ploosh, just an incredible wave, so I thought I would get a little closer,” Main said.

With a High Surf Warning issued for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County beaches, sneaker waves and strong rip currents pose major coastal risks.

“I’ll definitely stay up above the beach. This is not a good time to be challenging mother nature,” Main said. “The ocean is powerful and this is a great example of that."

Michael Lange drove from Paso Robles to show his daughter the power of nature.

“I feel lucky to get to see [the waves],” said Lange’s daughter Charlotte.

The Morro Bay Harbor Patrol will be out on the water during the peak event in case someone needs rescuing.

“You might have sets that are 10-12 feet high and appear to not be washing up very high and then maybe every five, 10, 15, even 30 minutes a bigger set will come through and totally overtake where you were standing,” said Eric Endersby, Morro Bay Harbor Director.

He advises people watching the waves to stay off rocks and jetties and pay attention to the tides.

Harbor Patrol also plans to monitor the harbor entrance and contact boats that leave to let them know of the dangerous conditions.

Even daredevil surfers are taking precautions during the surf advisory.

“The power is exponential, so once they get over four feet, you full-on get rag-dolled, you get smashed on the bottom,” said surfer Cory Boettcher. “It's no fun at all. "

As the fishing season comes to an end, there are not as many boats going out, but harbor officials said rescues are common during this time.

These waves are only expected to get bigger Tuesday.

To check current beach conditions, click here.