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Following advice that hazardous surf conditions can be expected for much of the NSW coastline this week, Surf Life Saving NSW is urging the public, particularly rock fishers and boaters, to exercise caution.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Hazardous Surf Warning which comes in the wake of 3-4 metre swells which have been experienced over the past few days – swells which have been the catalyst for several big rescues in Sydney as well as up and down the coast.

While the swell tapered slightly today, it is expected to pick up again tomorrow (Wednesday 8 September) with cyclone-like conditions of 3-4 metre swells and a longer than average 14-16 second swell period.

For context, the length of time between waves is a good indication of the wave power.

It is anticipated that this will result in more powerful waves breaking in deeper water.

Conditions will be hazardous for coastal activities such as surfing and swimming, but particularly for boating and rock fishing on exposed and south-facing headlands.

SLSNSW Director of Lifesaving Joel Wiseman is urging the public to exercise caution if they are visiting the coast.

“In anticipation of the release of our NSW Coastal Safety Report for 2021 tomorrow, I would encourage people to consider staying out of the water and avoid taking unnecessary risks,” he said.

“As we have seen in past years, the report will be reflective of an overrepresentation of males being caught in situations they are not prepared for or undertaking risky behaviour.

“I would strongly suggest that at all times, but particularly in these conditions, you understand your limits.

“People are strongly urged to check BeachSafe and understand your limitations if you do decide to take to the water.”

Surf Life Saving NSW club call-out teams, Duty Officers and surf rescue assets are on standby to respond to critical coastal incidents, despite it being off-season.


  • Avoid rock fishing and water activities on exposed beaches/rock-shelves
  • Only swim at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags. See the Beachsafe Website 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 (000) – Police.

Tuesday 7 September 2021