High surf hits San Diego beaches this week

SAN DIEGO -- A roughly 36-hour spell of hazardously heavy surf will hit San Diego-area beaches beginning Wednesday, making the ocean extra dicey for surfers, swimmers and boaters.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department lifeguards closed the Ocean Beach Pier Wednesday at 10 a.m. due to the high surf and high tide.

"Waves are spraying into public areas of the pier and for safety reasons it will remain closed until the high surf event is over and lifeguards have deemed it safe. There has been no damage to the pier at this time," said Jose Ysea, City of San Diego spokesman.

The large west swell arrived late Wednesday morning and was expected to generate waves of six to 14 feet in some locales, with the highest sets mostly occurring south of Encinitas, forecasters said.

The anticipated conditions prompted the National Weather Service to issue a high-surf advisory, effective from 10 a.m. Wednesday to 10 p.m. Thursday, and a small-craft advisory, set to run from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 10 p.m. Thursday.

Among the dangers posed by the rough local seas will be strong rip currents, minor coastal flooding and coastal erosion, according to the federal agency, which cautioned that entrances to harbors -- particularly Mission Bay -- will be difficult due to breakers large enough to capsize boats.

The surf likely will peak late Wednesday into early Thursday, then slowly subside through Friday, the weather service advised.

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