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Hazardous weather conditions are forecast for the NSW coastline from today, Saturday 11 April, through to Monday 13 April.

A significant weather event has developed in the Southern Ocean which is expected to impact the NSW coast. The resulting swell should see large and damaging waves hit the majority of NSW coast from today and for the remainder of the Easter Long Weekend.

The weather pattern is forecast to produce high winds, heavy surf with significant wave height and scattered rain across the State’s coast. The approaching full moon high tide (1.81m) on Saturday night and the following rising tide on Sunday will coincide with the peak of the swell.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a Hazardous Surf Warning this morning for the Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Sydney Coast and Illawarra Coast Surf and swell conditions are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating, and swimming.

Specific hazards associated with this system will see:

  • Significant wave heights in excess of 3 - 4 metres in the surf zone, which may lead to localised damage and coastal erosion.

  • Dangerous seas greater than 4 metres and strong winds in the open ocean a danger to boating.

  • Strong to Gale Force S – SW winds moving up the coast.

  • Significant tides combined with the large swell and wind may produce strong tide surges across low lying coastal areas.

  • Localised heavy rainfall with possible threat of flooding within effected area.

The Easter long weekend is historically one of the most dangerous periods of the season for NSW coastal drownings. Last Easter almost 500,000 people visited NSW beaches. Surf lifesavers and lifeguards were on duty and performed 324 rescues and 20,000 preventative actions. Tragically, two lives were lost in NSW over the Easter long weekend last year.

With many beaches closed due to the Government's Coronavirus social distancing orders and regular patrols not operating on most NSW beaches, Surf Life Saving NSW Director of Lifesaving, Joel Wiseman, urges the public to take extreme caution if they are visiting the coast.

“With hazardous surf forecast and without regular patrols on duty, we're urging anyone visiting the coast to be extra vigilant and to call Triple-Zero if they see anyone in distress in the water," said Joel Wiseman.

"Although our volunteer beach patrols have been cancelled, our emergency response teams, including jetskis, IRBs and UAV (drones) remain on standby and ready to respond to any coastal emergency.

“We all need to play our part and stay safe. This Easter our message is really simple; be a lifesaver – stay home.”

Visit or download the Beachsafe App, to find patrolled locations and up-to-date beach conditions.

Since 1 July 2019, 34 people have drowned on the NSW coastline.

Hazardous Surf Conditions Safety Tips

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

  • Only swim at patrolled beaches, between the red & 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 – Police