PACIFICA (CBS SF) -- North County firefighters were attempting to rescue a man from the crashing surf along the Pacifica coastline Tuesday as an offshore weather system was whipping up waves as high as 25 feet along coastal beaches.
North County fire took to Twitter at 8:50 a.m. reporting that a rescue operation was underway in the waters at Beach Boulevard and Paloma Ave. A Coast Guard crew, Pacifica police officers and an ambulance were on the scene to aid in the "rescue of an adult male in the water."
A Coast Guard helicopter was also searching the waters from the air for the missing man.
The rescue was being attempted amid a high surf warning from the National Weather Service for waves 25 feet or higher along the Bay Area Pacific Coast line.
At the world-famous Maverick's surf break off the San Mateo County, more than a dozen of the most well-known big wave surfers from across the globe took to the water at first light to catch towering sets of waves.
Video from the weather service showed massive breakers roaring onshore in Pacifica.
"A very large, long period northwest swell train will peak through this morning along the coast," the weather service warned. "The primary hazard will be large breaking waves of roughly 25 feet at west and northwest facing beaches, locally higher at favored break points. A High Surf Warning is in effect until 9 p.m. PST today for the large breaking waves."
Among the areas most exposed to the northwest swells are San Francisco's Ocean Beach; San Mateo County's Montara State Beach; Monterey County's Marina State Beach and Monastery Beach in Carmel. Massive waves were breaking at Carmel Point.
"These large waves can be erratic and unpredictable and may injure or knock beachgoers into the cold, turbulent ocean," forecasters warned.
While the swells were good news for surfers, they also have triggered warnings for beachgoers and fishermen to be on the alert for rip currents and potentially deadly sneaker waves.
"These large waves can be erratic and unpredictable and may injure or knock beachgoers into the cold, turbulent ocean," forecasters warned. "Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can cause injury, wash people off beaches and rocks, and capsize small boats near shore."
If you do find yourself in a rip current, officials said swimmers "should swim parallel to the coast to escape the rip current before trying to swim for shore."
for more features.