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High surf is educational

LIHUE — The National Weather Service had a high surf advisory for waves breaking between six to nine feet in effect into Tuesday.

Kauai had no major incidents attributed to the south swell that peaked over the weekend with waves reaching heights of more than 12 feet, and on Monday, benefited from the declining swell as the Kauai Fire Department recruit class started its week of ocean safety and rescue training out at Kealia Beach.

“Kealia always gets hit hard by the south swell. You can’t replicate these conditions,” said Kalani Vierra, the Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau chief. “This is the real thing. You can talk about it, but you can’t create the conditions in quiet water.”

Vierra was with his team of Kauai Junior Lifeguard instructors that started its final week of ocean safety classes at Kalapaki that felt the effects of the large swell.

“It was a lot bigger, Sunday,” Vierra said. “The Nawiliwili sea wall is covered with sand because the waves were coming over the road. At Pine Tree Inn, there were people partying, and the waves washing around them.”

Dave Duncan, a Keiki Lifeguard instructor, said the water was coming into the pavilions at the Salt Pond Beach Park, Sunday.

“This is like the last swell,” Duncan said. “We’re transitioning between moon phases, and whether we have King tides or not, the water is going to come up. Someone said the last pavilion at the park had water washing through it, but people kept on partying. It didn’t bother them.”

The next predicted King tide is forecast for July 31 and Aug. 1, but in the meantime, Duncan said if another southerly swell comes up, we’ll get the same thing.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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