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25 February 2024

Large waves pound California coast, sweeping several people into ocean

By Agencies


Towering waves pounded the California coast as authorities searched for a young man swept into the ocean the previous evening.

From Santa Barbara south to Orange County, several others were swept into the surf but were rescued.

Three men were hanging out on the rocks on the Palos Verdes Peninsula when the surf washed them into the water. The area is a popular fishing spot. Two were able to fight the waves and crawl back to shore but the third, a 23-year-old, never reappeared, officials said.

US Coast Guard Lt. Andrew Munoz said his agency called off its search for the man around 9:30 am Monday, and Los Angeles County fire and sheriff’s department crews scaled back their effort a few hours later, fire Inspector Frank Garrido said.

“We will routinely patrol the area and will place divers in the water when there is a low tide,” Garrido said. “Right now the ocean conditions are too intense to conduct an underwater search.”

Another three people walking on the Santa Barbara Harbor breakwater were knocked into the water by a huge wave Sunday but were rescued by the harbour patrol and taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. A hospital spokeswoman would not disclose their conditions.

In Orange County, a fisherman was swept off rocks in Laguna but was rescued.

The waves, which were forecast to reach heights of 28 feet in some locations, were expected to persist through Tuesday morning. (AP)