High surf from king tides sends massive waves onshore

Rough surf combined with king tides resulted in massive waves on Miami-Dade beaches Friday.

Six to eight foot waves were reported in Miami Beach.


Miami Beach Fire Rescue pleaded with beachgoers via social media to stay out of the water.

“Swimming and surfing conditions are dangerous. Please stay out of the water for your own safety and the safety of our Ocean Rescue lifeguards,” Miami Beach Fire Rescue posted on social media.


The city also raised double-red flags to indicate the ocean is closed to the public.

The warning came after a massive waves came across the sidewalk near South Pointe Park on Friday morning, sending six people to the hospital. All had minor injuries, according to WSVN-Ch. 7.

Breaking News Alerts

Breaking News Alerts

As it happens

Get updates on developing stories as they happen with our free breaking news email alerts.

One local surfer called the South Florida surf conditions “a once in a decade event” while warning anyone without advanced surfing skills to stay out of the water.

The ocean was so high Friday in Miami Beach that some lifeguard stations had to be moved to higher ground.

A surfer takes advantage of rough seas on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 in Deerfield Beach.

In Fort Lauderdale, the surf conditions also were rough, although waves were only 2 to 3 feet.

“Red flags are flying and big surf,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue spokesperson Stephen Gollan said. Fort Lauderdale did not have any massive waves roll onshore Friday like Miami Beach did, nor was his team required to do any major rescues, Gollan said.

Although Hurricane Ian headed further north in the Atlantic Ocean and toward the Carolinas on Friday, king tides affected South Florida. King tides happen when the full moon or new moon tides, which are stronger than other tides, coincide with the moon swinging close to the Earth on its elliptical orbit.

King tides, which are higher than average waves, often cause flooding in low-lying areas. A king tide period began on Sept. 27 and ended Friday night.


The next king tides in South Florida are on these dates: Oct. 6 through Oct. 12; Oct. 24 through Oct. 30; Nov. 6 through Nov. 9; Nov. 23 through Nov. 27 and Dec. 23 through Dec. 24.