Dangerous Surf Conditions For Long Weekend

Surf Life Saving NSW is warning swimmers, fishermen and surfers about dangerous surf conditions on the NSW coast this Friday and Saturday.

A southerly swell is expected to rapidly build on Friday afternoon and peak at 2 to 3 metres on Saturday affecting the NSW coast from the Victorian border to Coffs Harbour.

This swell period will have an unusually high swell period of 18 seconds meaning that the larger set waves may be up to 20 minutes apart creating a false sense of security for inexperienced rock fishermen, swimmers, boaties and surfers.

Surf Life Saving NSW Lifesaving Manager, Andy Kent, warns that holiday makers should avoid swimming at unpatrolled beaches and fishing on the open coastline until the swell begins to decline on Sunday.

“With the onset of these dangerous conditions we strongly encourage swimmers to follow all safety warnings and avoid entering the water unless there is an active patrol on duty, which will be signified by the red and yellow flags.

“With a strong southerly swell direction and a long swell period, beach conditions will likely vary significantly from beach to beach and it is important to know your local conditions and avoid taking risks while the surf is dangerous on Saturday,” said Mr Kent.

Not only will beaches be patrolled by 129 surf clubs across the state this weekend but more than 100 lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service will be patrolling some of the state’s busiest tourist beaches.

“Lifeguards have had a very busy school holiday period so far and with warm weather predicted for the weekend we are expecting big crowds across the state.

"With lifeguards on duty as well as thousands of volunteer lifesavers there should be no excuse to not swim at a patrolled location. With Saturday’s dangerous surf in mind, if you are ever unsure about the conditions, have a chat to one of the lifesavers or lifeguards on duty before entering the water,” said ALS NSW Coordinator, Brent Manieri.

Public Safety Messages for Dangerous Surf Conditions

  • Avoid rock fishing and water activities on exposed beaches/rock-shelves
  • Only swim at patrolled beaches, between the red & yellow flags
  • Check the official Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecast before undertaking rock fishing and water activities
  • Boaties should seek advice from Marine Rescue NSW and always wear a lifejacket
  • See www.beachsafe.org.au for patrolled locations/times and rock fishing safety information
  • If witnessing an in-water emergency dial Triple Zero – Police

Thu 2 Oct 2014