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'Sneaker Wave,' High Surf Warnings Issued for Marin Coast

On the heels of three wave-related deaths in Marin in the span of just a few days, more big waves are coming our way. Officials urge caution.

By Bay City News Service

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory for this weekend at beaches in the Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The National Weather Service also issued a beach hazards statement about sneaker waves at the beaches between this afternoon and Saturday morning.

The warnings come less than a month after three wave-related deaths in Marin. On Dec. 28, a father and son drowned after being hit by a big wave while fishing on rocks near Bonita Cove, and on Jan. 1, a Richmond man was swept out to sea while trying to save his wife and dog in Point Reyes National Seashore.

Large swells in the 8- to 10-foot range will create a dangerous near-shore environment that includes possible sneaker waves and strong rip currents, Point Reyes National Seashore spokesman John Dell'Osso said.

Steeper beaches, particularly northwest-facing beaches, will see large breaking waves, Dell'Osso said.

The sneaker waves can catch beach-goers and fishermen by surprise and wash them out to sea, according to Dell'Osso.

People walking on the beach should never turn their back to the ocean and fishermen should avoid fishing from jetties and rocks, Dell'Osso said.

Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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