Beachgoers warned about 'sneaker waves'

Concerns about big waves have prompted authorities to alert beach goers about possible "sneaker waves."
December 16, 2013 4:53:54 PM PST
Concerns about big waves prompted authorities to alert beachgoers about possible "sneaker waves" -- waves with extraordinary power that can suddenly wash ashore taking people or pets out into the ocean

For surfers out on the water at Dillon Beach Monday, conditions approached "too much of a good thing." The Pacific Ocean waves began to resemble battering rams.

Liam Nelson of Petaluma described them saying, "It's like looking at the side of a house made out of water and it's coming at you and you have to decide which way you're going to go. And so it's a moving house and it's not quite going freeway speed, but it's moving."

Last New Year's Day, a sneaker wave at North Beach swept Charlie Quaid of Richmond out to sea causing him to drown. Conditions were the same Monday at Dillon Beach. Hence, Marin Fire Capt. Bret McTigue, kept a close eye on the shore where people could find themselves in danger if the right wave arrived at the wrong time.

"It travels from a long distance to the California Coast and when it approaches the coastline, it has less time to slow down like a normal wave," he explained.

"Always keep one eye on the ocean. No matter what you're doing, don't spend a lot of time looking other places. You always turn back towards the ocean, just in case," beachgoer Phil Warner told ABC7 News.

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