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Beaches across Sydney are expected to remain closed for at least the remainder of Wednesday after powerful swells prompted agencies to issue warnings about potentially hazardous surf conditions.

A southerly swell is gradually moving up the coast with beaches from the Far South Coast through to the Northern NSW expected to be impacted.

On-shore waves are between the 2-3 metre mark in some unprotected areas while conditions are significantly more powerful out to sea.

NSW Lifesaving Manager Matt du Plessis is urging the public to be aware of the conditions and to only swim at a patrolled location.

“There is quite a powerful undertow off the coast presently, a lot of moving water and we’re seeing rip currents form at many Sydney beaches.

“That is why the beaches are closed, and we are strongly encouraging people to know their limitations and to stay out of the water if they have any doubts at all,” said Matt du Plessis.

Currently only Palm Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches is open with most beaches across the Illawarra and Hunter coast also closed.

As schools and workplaces begin to break up for summer and crowds expected to flock to the beach, lifesavers are reiterating key safety messages.

“The red and yellow flags are there for a reason and we urge you to make that effort to swim there. We’ve had several instances of people being pulled from rips over the last week so please take those few extra seconds to evaluate the conditions and to talk to the lifesaver or lifeguard on duty,” Mr du Plessis said.

Conditions are expected to ease in the coming days.

General Safety Tips During Hazardous Surf Conditions: 

  • Avoid rock fishing and water activities on exposed beaches/rock-shelves

  • Only swim at patrolled beaches, between the red & yellow flags. See for patrolled locations/times          

  • 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

  • If witnessing an in-water emergency dial Triple Zero – Police  


Wednesday 6 December 2017