Powerful Surf Forecast For NSW Coastline

Swimmers, surfers, boat users and fishermen heading out on the water this week are advised to be aware of powerful surf conditions right along the NSW coast until at least Friday after an updated forecast prompted the Bureau of Meteorology to issue an alert.

The conditions are being driven by a large low front that has been building around Tasmania in recent days and is impacting the entire coastline as it slowly travels north.

A southerly swell of between 2-3 metres is expected in the areas south of Sydney by late Tuesday and will continue throughout Wednesday.

The peak of the swell around the Sydney basin is forecast for Wednesday, with conditions expected to remain inconsistent throughout the remainder of the week.

Beaches stretching from around the Mid North Coast through to the Queensland border could continue to experience similar conditions until Friday, although local geography will play a part.

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 completed - could be as high as 12-14 seconds at the peak of the conditions.

NSW Lifesaving Manger Andy Kent urges all water users to be mindful of the conditions.

“The spike of drownings throughout January is a timely reminder of the importance of taking steps to keep safe at the beach. We strongly encourage people to swim at a patrolled location, and if they’re going to be doing an activity such as rock fishing to wear a life jacket and let others know their plans,” Mr Kent said.

He also noted that beaches will experience this week’s conditions differently.

“Local geography will play a huge role in determining what conditions are experienced as some are naturally more sheltered than others, however we don’t want people to be lulled into a false sense of security. The ocean is a dynamic environment and needs to be respected,” he 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.

Tue 16 Feb 2016