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Wednesday, December 20, 2000

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
A surfer takes a shot at the big waves rolling in at Pipeline
this morning on Oahu's pumping North Shore.

Oahu braces
for 25-foot waves

By Janine Tully

Lifeguards are preparing for possible high surf on Oahu's North Shore this afternoon and tonight.

The National Weather Service predicted that waves as high as 25 feet could roll in tonight, and issued a high-surf advisory for the north and west shores of all islands.

Surf was reported at about 6 to 8 feet this morning, and lifeguard Capt. Edmund Pestana said it was "too bumpy for surfers."

Weather on the North Shore was rainy, and conditions were choppy. Pestana said the Quicksilver Eddie Aikau surfing contest, which is held only when waves are 25 feet or higher, is on hold until conditions improve.

However, he expects onlookers and tourists to go see the big waves, a situation that may cause problems, Pestana said.

Pestana recommended using common sense and listening to lifeguards' warnings when going to beaches today.

"People cannot anticipate how strong the water is, and they get dangerously close to it," Pestana said. "The water can come up to their waist and grab them."

Lifeguards also are recommending that only professional surfers go into rough waters.

Oahu Civil Defense is taking a wait-and-see attitude until the surf is significantly higher, possibly later in the day, Civil Defense plans and operations officer Paul Takamiya said this morning.

Meanwhile, the department has notified the various government agencies and volunteer groups that it coordinates with about the high-surf advisory warning.

"We've asked them to keep an eye on the surf," Takamiya said.

E-mail to City Desk

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