77彩票网appA man nearly drowned Tuesday when a towering wave caused him to topple off the seaside cliff where he was hiking.
Santa Cruz authorities shared a video of the man bracing to be swept away near Bonny Doon Beach as the wave surges toward him. It takes less than 10 seconds for him to tumble over the rocky bluff before helplessly plunging into the swells of the ocean below.
Authorities say the man was rescued by state park rangers.
“Be careful on your coastal New Year's Day hikes, and never turn your back on the ocean! Waves can sneak up on you,” the caption accompanying the video.
77彩票网appA storm developing in the Gulf of Alaska and its consequent gusts of wind are likely to blame. On Friday, NWS forecaster Anna Schneider SFGATE the storm was producing 20-foot-tall waves from the Central Coast to the Sonoma Coast.
Earlier this month, forecasters warned of strong rip currents, beach erosion and waves reaching 16 to 22 feet. A record-setting 75-foot-tall wave was also less than 20 miles off the coast.
"Use extra caution near the surf zone as these large waves will be capable of sweeping people into the frigid and turbulent ocean water," the Weather Service at the time.
A High Surf Advisory is in on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for coastal parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. The National Weather Service 11 to 14 foot swells lasting 20 to 22 seconds – meaning waves will be as tall as 20 to 25 feet.
People are being asked to avoid the water’s edge due to strong rip currents and dangerous breaking waves.
SFGATE digital editor Amy Graff contributed to this report.
Amanda Bartlett is an SFGATE associate digital reporter. Email: email@example.com | 77彩票网app: @byabartlett