Sneaker Wave Threat Comes on Heels of Trinidad Rescue


The National Weather Service office in Eureka is warning of an increased risk of sneaker waves Thursday and Friday, a threat that comes on the heels of four teenage surfers — including one who is a state parks lifeguard — rescuing two swimmers off the shore of Trinidad State Beach yesterday.

According to the weather service, a “building large, long period west to northwest swell” will bring the possibility of the waves that can suddenly sweep up a beach, with the potential of taking beachgoers into the water.

“Remember to never turn your back on the ocean,” the notice states.

The swell will also “spread through the waters on Friday and Saturday, resulting in steep and hazardous seas for small craft,” according to NWS.

The deadly combination of cool waters and a rip current nearly took the lives of a 15 year old and a 20 year old visiting from Shasta County on Monday when they were rescued.

Off-duty California State Parks lifeguard Adrian York and fellow teenagers Spenser Stratton, Taj Ortiz-Beck and Narayan Weibel, two of whom were junior lifeguard participants, happened to be out surfing when they heard calls for help.

The four were able to put the swimmers on their boards and bring them safely to shore. York, 16, was recently certified and works as a seasonal lifeguard for the North Coast Redwoods District

“We’re are very proud,” says Keven Harden, a supervising ranger at Patrick’s Point State Park who oversees the junior lifeguard program told the Journal. “To see this ending. ... This was our vision of the program.”

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