Dangerous Surf Expected For NSW Coastline

Surfers, swimmers, rockfishers and recreational boat users are urged to exercise caution this weekend with a peak swell approaching three metres expected along the NSW coastline.

The conditions have prompted a warning from the Bureau of Meteorology, while volunteer lifesavers are preparing for a busy weekend.

Coastlines from Queensland through to Sydney are expected to be impacted by the North Easterly swell which is being driven the same weather system that spurred Cyclone Winston that made landfall in Fiji earlier this week.

The swell is forecast to be between 1.5 – 2.5 metres on Friday and will steadily increase overnight to peak close to 3 metres, or 9 foot on the old scale on Saturday.

Conditions are expected to ease throughout Sunday, and into next week.

Rock fishermen and those taking coastal walks in close proximity to the water’s edge are advised that the swell period – the period it takes for a cycle of waves to be complete will be as high as 14 seconds, which could impact on their activities.

NSW Lifesaving Manager Andy Kent said that beach closures will be determined by the patrolling lifesavers on the day, but has urged the public to take the warnings seriously.

“We’re anticipating the swell to be quite powerful this weekend, so please if you have any doubt about your ability to handle the conditions it is best not to go out,” Mr Kent said.

“Even southern facing beaches that would usually offer some shelter could still potentially experience these conditions so we’re advising the public to stay safe by swimming at a patrolled location.”

General Safety Tips During 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.

Useful Links:


Bureau of Meteorology

Marine Rescue NSW

Thu 25 Feb 2016