High surf and dangerous rip currents will plague the Southland coast from Tuesday through Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

A beach hazards statement, which is marginally less serious that a high surf advisory, will go into effect at 6 a.m. in both L.A. and Orange counties. The statement is due to expire Thursday evening in L.A. County and Thursday afternoon in Orange County.

Forecasters blamed coastline conditions on elevated surf of 3-6 feet resulting from a long-period southerly swell. For Orange County, forecasters expected surf of 4-6 feet, with sets of up to 7 feet.

“There is an increased risk for ocean drowning,” waned an NWS statement. “Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can wash people off beaches and rocks and capsize small boats near shore.”

The statement added: “A beach hazards statement is issued when threats such as rip currents, longshore currents. sneaker waves and other hazards create life-threatening conditions in the surf zone. Swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don’t swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.”

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