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Wild waves batter LA and OC beaches

Surf dog Skyler competes in the 9th annual Surf City Surf Dog event at Huntington Beach, California on September 23, 2017.
Surf dog Skyler competes in the 9th annual Surf City Surf Dog event at Huntington Beach, California on September 23, 2017.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

It was bad news for lifeguards but good news for surfers. This weekend's high surf warning — just one notch below severe — brought big swells to beaches all along the Southern California coast, from Orange County to Ventura.

Waves have been averaging around 6 feet high. In some places, they've been going much higher.

Schaler Perry, the lead forecaster at Surfline.com, says Newport Beach will get waves up to 15 feet high at the Wedge, a popular surf spot.

That means potentially dangerous conditions for typical beachgoers, especially since high temperatures on Saturday lured more people out to beaches. 

"These large, long-period southern hemisphere swells produce very strong rip currents, so if you are an inexperienced surfer or swimmer, it's definitely advised to partake in these activities near a lifeguard," Perry told KPCC.

If you get caught in a fast-moving rip current, don't panic and don't try to swim against it. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you can break free.