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King Tides Takes Throne on Central Coast Shores

By Cassandra Arsenault, Reporter, CassandraArsenault@kionrightnow.com
Published On: Dec 30 2013 08:45:33 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 31 2013 11:38:32 AM CST

One research group, California King Tides Initiative, is tracking this year's tide, in a unique way.

MONTEREY, Calif.-- One research group, California King Tides Initiative, is tracking this year's tide in a unique way. It's urging people to get out there and take pictures of the king tides on their shores from Sacramento all the way to San Diego. However, this has some lifeguards on high alert, because as the research group is asking people to get close enough to take photos of enormous tides for their research, it could get dangerous.

The California King Tides Initiative explains that our shoreline is constantly being altered by these powerful tides, and they want people to help them document how it impacts things like private property, public infrastructure, and wildlife by taking photos. The one catch is getting up close and personal with these tides to get a great picture can be dangerous, and even deadly.

The giant, crashing waves rolling on the Monterey State Beach are a clear indication that King Tide season is here, and anyone with a camera or a smart phone might find it irresistible to snap a shot.

"The best thing to do is to look from a distance", warns James Nothhelfer, supervising Lifeguard for California State Parks.

Nothhelfer said, "getting too close to the big tides is not a good idea. On his patrol today, he had to ask several people to move to a different part of the beach because the current was too strong, and the waves were far to large to swim in.

Nothhelfer said, "The waves are still big there's a strong swell out in the water you can end up further out in the ocean that you want to be."

Despite the dangers associated with the tides, the California King Tide Initiative is asking for everyone's help to document them, and even their own website warns people of the danger.

"Rocks, piers, jetties those are things people can be swept off a surge of water will come up and knock people off", says Nothhelfer, "the tide came all the way up to the sand dunes today."

Lifeguards say if you can't resist snapping a shot of these tides: beware of your surrounding, and use the zoom button.

"One of the things we like to tell people is stay high and dry. Be on the dry sand, stay off the wet sand" is Nothhelfer's final warning on getting too close to these vicious tides.

If you want to find out more about the California Tides Initiative, click here.