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Rescue Crews Busy On San Francisco Bay Area Beaches During Tsunami Surge

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Despite desperate warnings from officials to stay away from the beaches, rescue crews pulled five people to safety after they ventured too close to the ocean waters churned up by the surge from Saturday's tsunami.

San Francisco firefighters deployed rescue swimmers Saturday afternoon when a group of surfers were spotted in distress at Kelly's Cove near the Cliff House on Ocean Beach.

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"At 2:40 PM today a female adult surfer was rescued at Ocean Beach by #SFFD and did not require medical care. In total, we had 25 safety contacts and 3 rescues today," the fire department tweeted.

But the rescue wasn't easy even for the experienced SFFD swimmers.

"SURFER SAFE ON @USCG VESSELL CONDITIONS SO SEVERE WE ARE NOW WORKING ON GETTING OUR RESCUE SWIMMERS SAFELY ONBOARD," the department tweeted during the rescue.

The woman was taken to China Beach where she was treated by paramedics. Her condition was not released.

While some surfers ventured into the waters, other chosen to just watch the crashing waves from the beach. Among them was Vanessa Marlin.

"It really doesn't look much different than it normally would on a Saturday or any given day at this end of the beach," she said. "It's definitely messy, but there are some peaks that could be surf able, but we're not going out today because it seems like it would be a bad idea with the tsunami advisory in effect. We're just appreciating the waves and the beauty that we see in front of us."

NWS forecaster Brian Garcia said the surf was even more dangerous because of the pulsating nature of the tsunami surge.

"All of the amplitudes we've seen so far have generally been in that [one to three foot] range. I think one site along the California coast has gone above that," he said.

Meanwhile on the San Mateo County coast, two fishermen were in stable condition after being swept into the water at San Gregorio State Beach.

The Cal Fire CZU Twitter account posted about the rescue. The San Mateo County Sheriff, the fire departments for Coastside, La Honda and San Mateo County and California State Park rangers assisted in the response.

One fisherman was pulled from the water unconscious. They had to be airlifted to awaiting ambulances.

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