Rip Tides, Large Waves Hit SoCal Beaches

The rip tides stem from southern swells, officials said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dangerous beach conditions were building along Southern California's coast with high surf and rip currents expected through the weekend. Hetty Chang reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from Manhattan Beach Friday, Aug. 22, 2014.

    A tropical storm is whipping up waters along the Pacific Ocean in Southern California and lifeguards were urging beachgoers to be careful when entering the surf as as dangerous riptides and large waves hit the coast.

    Forecasters predicted waves up to 7 feet along some south facing beaches over the weekend in northern Los Angeles. On Friday, waves got up to head high in some areas.

    It's good for surfers.

    "I'm going to pray for surf tonight," surfer Mike Ventura said.

    Others, not so much.

    "I don't plan on going in the water," said Pauline Jefson, who's visiting from Minnesota.

    Surf instructor Rudy Andrews knows that the southern swells churning up the high surf will also create powerful rip currents.

    "Once you get in the water and the current takes you down, you you gotta get out," Andrews said.

    Lifeguards in LA County have made over 7,000 rescues beaches since Memorial Day weekend, most were swimmers caught in rip currents.

    "We really encourage everyone to swim near one of our open lifeguard towers," said Kyle Daniels, an LA County lifeguard.

    Lifeguards advise that if you get caught in a rip current, don't panic or fight the current. Float out with it and swim parallel to the beach before swimming to shore.

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