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High surf advisory issued in Orange County

June 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
People visiting Orange County beaches: beware. There's a high surf advisory in effect. Waves are predicted to reach as high as 7 feet, and there's also concern about dangerous rip currents.

Despite the advisory, there were a few hundred people at the wedge in Newport Beach on Sunday afternoon who were getting in the water. Others were there to watch what a hurricane more than 1,000 miles away can do to a local beach.

It didn't cause damage on land, but Hurricane Celia blew past Baja California at 130 miles per hour. That has created a high surf advisory to all south-facing beaches in Orange and San Diego counties.

Many surfers used the opportunity to have a little fun, but officials are warning inexperienced swimmers to stay out of the water.

"Any time there's an increase in surf at the wedge we get our (life) guards on their feet in front of the public so they can talk one on one with everyone who's going into the water," said Cpt. Boyd Mickley of the Newport Beach Fire Department. "We can evaluate their ability and make sure everyone goes home safe."

The advisory is in effect until 8 p.m. Monday.

"We've been coming to the beach almost every day this week and going in the water, but definitely we can't go out today," said Sara Miller, a spectator on Sunday. "It's neat to watch. I wouldn't want to go out there. I've heard a lot of times about people dying out there."

Last July, a surfer was killed at the wedge when powerful waves slammed him up against the jagged rocks.


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