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With the onset of spring rock fishers, boaties, surfers, and swimmers will return to the ocean in droves, but lifesaving community have a warning for those looking to make the most of their time at the beach; check the conditions before heading out into the water.

The warning comes after a dramatic series of photographs of a woman being pulled from the surf at Bronte surfaced on Thursday.

Fortunately there were lifeguards on hand despite it being before the day’s patrol commenced and the woman escaped her ordeal unscathed.  

It has been a challenging week along the coast with a powerful southerly swell moving a mass of water at beaches.

Although conditions have eased today a secondary swell is currently developing in the southern ocean and is forecast to move along the coastline over the weekend.

At this stage it looks likely to peak on Sunday around the 2-3 metre mark and continue into early next week, however the data is continually being refined and this could change.

Sunday is of course Father’s Day and the beach is just one location where families can come together and celebrate the day.

Volunteer surf lifesavers will return to patrols later this month but in their absence recreational water users are urged to take advantage of one of the beaches currently patrolled by lifeguards.

 “It is crucially important that everyone whether you are a visitor or a local takes the time to assess the conditions before heading out as they can change very quickly,” said NSW Duty Operations Coordinator Andrew Ugarte.

Mr Ugarte said the public needs to take the warnings seriously and to arm themselves with the best possible information such as tidal times and weather forecasts.

“Our call-out teams are ready and willing to respond to any coastal emergency, but our best advice is to take note of any safety warnings because they are issued for a reason.

“The ocean is a dynamic environment that millions of Australians enjoy each year. Our safety message is simple; always swim between those red and yellow flags, and if you have any doubt whatsoever about your ability to handle the conditions it’s better not to go in,” he concluded.

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 BeachSafe 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  

Friday 31 August 2018