High surf warning closes West Hawaii beaches

Several West Hawaii beaches are closed because of high surf along west-facing shores. A high surf warning remains in effect through 6 p.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

Hapuna Beach, Kahaluu Beach, Kohanaiki, also called Pine Trees, Laaloa, also called Magic Sands Beach, and the public beach areas at Kukio and Four Seasons Resort Hualalai are closed today because of high surf, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense.

A building northwest swell will fuel 20- to 25-foot waves along the Kona and Kohala coasts, according to forecasters. Because the swell has more of a westerly component, west-facing shores of Hawaii Island will see “much larger than normal surf.”

Forecasters expect the waves to gradually diminish by 6 p.m. Saturday, however, surf may remain hazardous through Sunday.

The service categorized the surf’s impact as “high” warning that waves may sweep across portions of beaches. The service also warned of very strong breaking waves and strong longshore and rip currents. The breaking waves may impact harbors making navigating harbor channels dangerous.

Beachgoers, swimmers and surfers should heed all advice given by ocean safety officials and exercise extreme caution.