Many beaches across NSW are expected to be closed this weekend due to polluted and hazardous water after a week of torrential rain and floods.
Surf Life Saving NSW advises the public to checkbeachsafe.org.au or local council websites before heading to the beach this weekend and if intending to enter the water do so at a patrolled location, be cautious and wash thoroughly afterwards.
“There is a lot of unknown and potentially hazardous debris floating in the ocean and below the surface as well as pollutants, sewerage and chemical runoff that have now made their way to the beaches,” said SLSNSW Director of Lifesaving Joel Wiseman. “Even if the water looks clear it may not be safe.”
“Many beaches will be closed this weekend but if people are going to swim we’re advising them to swim between the flags as always and make sure they thoroughly wash off after getting out of the water.”
SLSNSW advises that the public should be extra cautious swimming at beaches that are in close proximity to lagoons, river mouths or waterway runoffs.
On the far north coast, Yamba beach will be closed due to ground instability.
All beaches on the state’s mid north and lower north coast will most likely remain closed for the weekend. People are advised not to enter the water due to severe flooding in the region.
Port Macquarie Lifeguard Supervisor James Turnham said “water visibility is still zero in our region. Hastings Council are working hard to clear debris from our beaches but there is still so much large and dangerous debris still coming out of the river systems including sewerage and water contamination.”
All beaches on the Central Coast are closed this weekend due to water contamination. These beaches include; The Lakes, Soldiers Beach, North Entrance, The Entrance, Toowoon Bay, Shelly Beach, Wamberal, Terrigal, North Avoca, Avoca, Copacabana, MacMasters, Killcare, Ocean Beach and Umina.
SLSNSW President George Shales OAM acknowledged the tremendous efforts of surf lifesavers over the last seven days and thanked clubs and branches for continuing beach patrols and out of hours callouts. “Once again our volunteers have pulled together to support their communities,” said George Shales.
“These incredible members have been on the water assisting our fellow emergency services for a week now, yet have still kept their own clubs operating and responded to numerous coastal incidents.
“We are so proud of everyone involved - it shows their skills and training are second to none and are vital not only on the beach but in any emergency situation,” said George Shales.
For more live information and beach conditions visit Beachsafe.org.au.
Top photo by @lilyanellice93
Friday 26 March 2021