Two surfers chasing storm waves were cited for trespassing Tuesday when they stepped onto Breakers Beach at Naval Air Station North Island, according to a base spokesperson.
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The beach, just west of Coronado’s public dog beach, is demarcated by a fence that extends a short distance into the Pacific, which separates the public beach from the Navy’s.
Kevin Dixon, a base spokesperson, said the two surfers were banned from the base and released.
Randy Dible, a longtime surfer and surf photographer, was on the public beach when one arrest occurred. He said that it’s rare that the better waves are on the base side of the beach — but when they are, surfers will find them.
“In the old days, guys would get chased off (the base),” he said. “It used to be kind of a secret spot but now everyone knows about it.”
Dible said waves mainly break there when there’s a storm off Baja California. On Monday, as waves from Tropical Storm Frank surged northward, Dible said several surfers accessed the base via a hole in its fence or by paddling around it.
Monday was “no problem,” he said, but the following day base security “clamped down.”
Dixon confirmed there was a hole in the fence — something he attributed to wear and tear. He said it’s being repaired.
Dixon did not comment on Monday’s surfing activity. He said the surfers Tuesday were only cited because they stepped onto the base.
“They can surf waters away from the base, but we do have patrols to watch and make sure people aren’t coming onto the beaches,” Dixon said. “None of the other (surfers) came on.”
Breakers Beach is accessible to military personnel and their families, so it can be difficult to tell which surfers are service members and which aren’t, Dible said.
By Wednesday, Tropical Storm Frank had weakened and dissipated in the Pacific and is no longer being tracked as a named storm by the National Hurricane Center.
This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune.
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