Dangerous Surf Warning Issued For NSW Coastline

Surf Life Saving NSW is urging beachgoers looking to make the most of a break in the weather to exercise caution this weekend after the Bureau of Meteorology issued a state-wide warning for a strong swell along the coast for Saturday.

The warning encompasses the coastline from the Far South Coast right through to the Queensland border with a peak south-easterly swell of up to 2.5 metres expected, though this is expected to decrease throughout the day.

Rock fisherman 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 completed could be as high as 15 seconds along the coast.

It is this swell period that has prompted the Bureau’s warning as it could make conditions unpredictable.

NSW Life Saving Manager Andy Kent is anticipating a busy weekend for the state’s patrolling lifesavers.

“The wet weather across New South Wales did result in a number of beach closures throughout the week, but now that it feels like summer has resumed we’re expecting an increase in people heading to the beach especially considering the fact that we are still very much in the school holiday period.

“We are anticipating the swell to decrease steadily throughout Saturday but we do urge everyone to take these warnings seriously.”

A rescue of a group of five teenage body boarders at the unpatrolled Denhams Beach on the state’s Far South Coast on Thursday is a timely reminder of the importance of swimming at a patrolled location.

“The best piece of advice that we can give to people is to swim between the flags and to really take the time to assess the conditions before heading out. The ocean is a dynamic environment that needs to be respected,” Mr Kent said

Volunteer lifesavers will be patrolling each weekend and public holiday until the 2015/16 season concludes on Monday 25 April 2016.

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 the BeachSafe Websitefor patrolled locations/times and rock fishing safety information.
  • If witnessing an in-water emergency dial Triple Zero – Police.

Fri 8 Jan 2016