Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

High surf that could pull unsuspecting beach visitors into roiling waters to their drowning deaths will pound Southern California’s coast starting Friday afternoon as a result of a long-period swell, forecasters said.

A beach hazard statement, which is a notch less serious than a high surf advisory, will be in force in Los Angeles and Orange counties from 5 p.m. today through Monday afternoon.

By Friday night, surf will build to between 4 and 6 feet along west-facing beaches, with local sets to 7 feet this weekend, a National Weather Service statement said.

“Large waves and strong rip currents will increase the risk of ocean drowning,” it said. “Sneaker waves can suddenly wash people off beaches and rock jetties into the ocean. Morning high tides will increase runup and coastal erosion.

The NWS said the approaching swell is “the first significant northwest swell of the season.”

—City News Service

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