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Big surf, strong rip currents keep lifeguards busy at Huntington Beach

August 24, 2010 |  5:14 pm

Lifeguards at Huntington Beach were busy rescuing stranded swimmers Tuesday as large waves and dangerous rip currents were reported along the Southern California coast.

By late afternoon, lifeguards said they had pulled about 30 people from the water as 6-foot breakers rolled in at the popular Orange County beach, where a number of people had flocked to flee triple-digit temperatures in inland areas as a heat wave baked Southern California

"We were pretty busy," said lifeguard Kevin Berry.

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory for beaches in Ventura and Los Angeles counties through 11 p.m. The agency advised swimmers that strong rip currents were also expected at many area beaches.

The large surf was being generated by a powerful storm in the southern hemisphere. Waves at jetties and point breaks along south-facing beaches could reach 10 feet, the weather service said.

For tips on beach safety, see our interactive graphic.

-- Robert J. Lopez