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Hurricane season begins to pack a punch

The unofficial end of summer is delivering big surf on the U.S. East and West coasts as hurricanes Cristobal and Marie churn in the Atlantic and Pacific, throwing tremendous energy onto the shore.

On the East Coast, Cristobal is blamed for at least seven deaths, including those of two teens in Sandy Hook, N.J., and Ocean City, Md., who succumbed to heavy surf and powerful rip currents.

On the West Coast, a surfer died in strong waves kicked up by Hurricane Marie as it spun in the Pacific Ocean, authorities say, and heavy surf and dangerous rip currents have prompted officials to close several California beaches through Friday.

“There’s a lot of rip,” famed surfer Laird Hamilton told KCAL Channel 9.

Lifeguards estimate that they’d made as many as 65 more rescues Wednesday at Malibu Point alone, but no major injuries were reported. Watch multiple lifeguards struggle to rescue a swimmer off Newport Beach, Calif.

Click here to watch lifeguards struggle to save a swimmer struggling in the surf.

On Santa Catalina Island south of Los Angeles, high tides and wave action Tuesday night sent sand, water and even 3,000-pound rocks into a boatyard, causing substantial damage and tossing some drydocked boats off their stands, Avalon Harbor master Brian Bray said.

On Monday, three fishermen went missing off Mexico’s coast as Hurricane Marie churned powerfully in the Pacific Ocean.

At its peak earlier this week, Marie’s wind speeds increased to 160 mph, making the storm a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, the first hurricane of such intensity in the eastern Pacific since Hurricane Celia in June 2010.

Cristobal peaked as a Category 1 hurricane and posed no direct threat to the east coast. It is passing well to the north and west of Bermuda.