Before you ask — Beth Spotswood, who’s a spectator at the event, is OK! Follow her tweets from the event here.
Elsewhere: Several Spectators Injured at Mavericks Surf Competition KCBS, Watchers hurt by rogue waves at CA surfing contest AP via SFGate, Huge waves at Mavericks injure spectators Chron
11:49 AM: Strong waves that washed over a sea wall at the Mavericks Surf Contest near Half Moon Bay this morning injured 13 spectators and shut down the beach, according to a Cal Fire battalion chief.
At about 9:15 a.m., a few strong waves crashed into a group of nearly 200 people, part of the throngs of onlookers viewing the competition from the shore, according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Scott Jalbert. Many people were swept off their feet, he said, and 13 were treated for various injuries. Three people’s injuries were serious enough to require a trip to the hospital, including fractures and one person with a broken leg he said.
Nobody got swept out to the water, Jalbert said, but seven people were temporarily stranded on the waterlogged beach and needed to be rescued.
“They were out on a place they shouldn’t have been,” he said.Jalbert himself got hit by a wave.
“It just came over the wall and nailed all of us,” he said.
San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies have closed down the beach, he said.
Mavericks CEO Keir Beadling urged spectators to comply with law enforcement and said people should instead watch the contest via live webcast. Organizers are also selling tickets to a viewing event at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
These high waves are the reason participants in the famed surf competition chose to hold the event today. The National Weather Service has issued a high surf warning for the Bay Area coastline as offshore swells produce large breaking waves and dangerous rip currents. The warning is in effect until 10 p.m. tonight.
11:03 AM: Officials have closed down the beach after high waves injured several spectators at today’s Mavericks Surf Contest, according to organizers.
Heavy surf prompted safety officials to move viewers off the beach and farther back from the shoreline, according to Mavericks CEO Keir Beadling. Some people were injured when waves crashed over them, but Beadling did not immediately have more details.
The best and safest way to watch the renowned surf competition is on its live webcast, he said.