NewsLocal News


Extreme tides on the Central Coast prompt beach advisory

Morro Bay #BeOnKSBY
Posted at 9:28 AM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 13:44:41-05

We are experiencing some pretty extreme tides here on the Central Coast.

On Friday morning, the National Weather Service issued a Beach Hazards Statement in effect for a large portion of the California coastline, including San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties for abnormally high tides. The statement is set to remain in effect through Sunday morning.

Many people are fascinated by these extreme "King Tides," but the Morro Bay Harbor Director told KSBY that some groups, especially those participating in paddle sports, should be careful.

If you visit Morro Bay, you’ll definitely notice changes due to the King Tides. While the title alone makes the tide sound large, the accompanying low tide levels cause the most concern.

"It's like as low as I think I've ever seen it," said Morro Bay resident Gary Barker.

Jim Rasmussen walks out to Morro Bay each day and says he was surprised to see boats sitting so low in the water.

"I go, what happened to the boat that's at the end of the pier? I was surprised. I go, oh my God, it's sunk down about 8 feet. So anyway, as you can see behind me there, it's just the mast sticking out. The boat is actually sitting below the dock," Rasmussen said.

In just a few hours, the boats will rise again.

"I'm gonna be looking forward to seeing the very high tide on Saturday and hadn't really thought about the counterpart, which is the low tide," Rasmussen said.

Locals say the unusually high tide won't keep them away from the beach this weekend.

"We'll come out and check it out. We like the high tide," said Los Osos resident Justin Miller.

"Oh, heck no. I'm a surfer dude. I've been around the ocean, I've lived in Alaska and nothing scares me about the ocean," Barker said.

City of Morro Bay Harbor Director Eric Endersby says Morro Bay is experiencing an almost 9-foot change in tides over the next few days as well as a strong current which can affect activities like kayaking and paddleboarding in the bay.

Though this King Tide isn't expected to cause flooding in the area, it does pose a threat to kayakers.

"Well, from a public safety standpoint, if you're out on the water, you just need to be aware, especially if you're out on our bay kayaking," Endersby said.

He says it's always important to be aware of your surroundings and check the schedule of the tides.

"Kayakers will go over under the sandspit and then they'll pull up their kayak where it's dry, but the tide's coming up behind them," Endersby said. "They don't realize the tide's going to rise and float their boats off."

For more information about tides and what to expect in the coastal areas near you, visit