Maine surfers enjoy storm swell from Jose

Surf's up Jose

YORK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Surfers in York hit the waves Wednesday from morning to night to make the most of storm swells from Tropical Storm Jose.

Waves peaked as high as six feet early Wednesday morning at Long Sands Beach, while Higgins Beach in Scarborough saw some as high as ten feet.

"This is the stuff we wait for -- we live for this stuff," said Christopher Wilson, who has surfed for nearly 25 years. "I'll wake up early sometimes and I'm just like it's only 3 a.m.? I wish it was 5 so I could go right now. Yeah, you wake up thinking about it."

After Labor Day, the majority of Maine beaches do not have full-time lifeguards. Still, adventure-seekers paddled out.

"There are so many weather systems giving us waves you just lose track," said Roger Wharton. "It's nice to have some energy in the water. It makes life a lot easier out there because it's less effort to surf them because there's more power in the water."

Surfers said they expect the large waves to continue this week, and anticipate even more from the after-effects of Hurricane Maria.

"Today was really big and hopefully it will get better," said Theolonius Dutton, who was surfing at Higgins Beach.

Despite the risk and the adrenaline rush, surfers said gliding across a glassy wave is peaceful.

"It's a balancer -- it's life balance. No matter what goes on for the rest of the day, no matter what comes, the day is complete," said Wharton. 

"There's nothing like catching a wave and going down the line. There's no other feeling like it -- it's the stoke," said Gia Fillmore.

Fillmore said her family is from Puerto Rico, and is being hit now by Hurricane Maria. Fillmore said she spoke with her father early Wednesday and he said he was okay, but that the storm damaged his home.

"All of the windows have gotten blown in and the eye of the hurricane hadn't even gone by where he was yet. Just kind of praying for him out there, praying for my people in Puerto Rico, hoping for the best," said Fillmore.

Fire departments warn anyone going out in the water or looking at the water to be safe.
 
Firefighter/paramedic Jack Cooper said these storm swells are bringing rip tides and under tow, no matter what time of tide. Other departments urged surfers to be well-secured to their board with a leash, and to surf with a buddy if possible. They also recommended that people check in with friends and family to let them know when you should be done with your activities, and as always, if you are tired, get out of the water.
 
Cooper also said people should be careful riving along roads near shore, because waves that splash over can have rocks in them.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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