The National Weather Service announced a beach hazard statement warning of sneaker waves coming to California beaches from Sonoma then heading south through Big Sur beginning midday Nov. 14, and extending until the afternoon of Nov. 15.

Sneaker waves are large and powerful and can surge up during deceptively calm seas, putting unsuspecting beach-goers standing at or near the shore at increased risk of being overtaken. According to the weather service, the waves can pull people off the beach into strong ocean currents. One person in Northern California was killed by a sneaker wave earlier this year.

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The risk of sneaker waves increases at steeper beaches and waves may wash over rocks and jetties that may typically remain dry. Those recreating and fishing at beaches and coastlines are advised to stay off of rocks and jetties that may appear dry. The most important thing to remember: Never turn your back on the sea.

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