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Despite Dangerously High Waves, Hundreds Still Strolled On Ocean Beach

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Much of the coastline in the Bay Area is under a High Surf Warning, as 25-40 foot waves are expected Sunday evening and into Monday. San Francisco emergency managers say conditions are so dangerous, no one should be out on the beach or in the water.

Despite the warnings, hundreds of people and dogs were out on Ocean Beach on Sunday.

"The forecasters first were saying, really big waves, so I figure I've got to come. Then they were saying, oh, you're going to die if you come, so I've really got to come then," said Mark Alfenito, who lives nearby.

"It's nice big waves today and I haven't died yet, but I haven't made it back to my car yet, so there's still time," Alfenito said.

Others weren't as impressed.

Elliot Helman lives a few blocks away and said, "I'm disappointed. I came out here because like I heard all these high surf warnings and everything and there's a sign up there saying stay off the beach."

There are a number of signs warning people about the possibility of sneaker waves and rip currents, the dangers of surfing in the area, and there is even a portable sign set up for the weekend telling people specifically to "stay off the beach."

During a press conference Friday, city emergency workers issued stern warnings to anyone thinking of going to the beach.

"The force of the water, specifically the tow, is going to be so strong, that it could actually suck a person into the Bay and you could become a victim at that point," said Lt. Jonathan Baxter with the San Francisco Fire Department.

The largest waves are expected Sunday night into Monday morning. The High Surf Warning is set to expire at 9:00 p.m. on Monday.

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