Surf's up, but now the pier is down. California surfers have been enjoying the high waves near the state beach's Gaviota Pier, but according to the Santa Maria Times, it is now unavailable to visitors who fish and launch boats there due to the powerful tides crashing into it.
Close to 50 feet of the Gaviota Pier is now underwater since Saturday morning; the waves began to assault the pier pilings, and there she blows. One third of the pier was lost in yesterday's incident, and there will likely be more damage to come. The waves don't seem to be letting up and Eric Hjelstrom, the sector supervisor for the California State Parks, stated that "once one (a piling) goes, they all go down like dominos."
No one was hurt, and no boats were docked at the time of the pier collapse. Hjelstrom has concerns about the boat hoist that still stands-- the remaining parts of the pier now directly expose it to the crashing waves.
The pier was founded in 1769, when soldiers shot an apparently very tasty seagull there and named it "La Gaviota," which is Spanish for seagull. It is known for being windy, which makes it a popular area for not only fishermen and boaters, but for surfers as well.
The collapse of the pier now sounds like more canvas for surfers to hang ten, but the beach and pier are closed for safety reasons.
The reopening of Gaviota Pier has not yet been determined.
Image via NDN