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With hazardous weather conditions forecast to impact the NSW coastline from Friday, Surf Life Saving NSW is urging the public to exercise extreme caution when visiting the coastline this weekend.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a hazardous surf alert and is warning of possible damaging surf and gale force winds along the NSW coast, coinciding with extreme high tides over the next few days.

Conditions will be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating, surfing and swimming. People should consider staying out of the water and avoid walking near surf-exposed areas. Rock fishers should avoid coastal rock platforms exposed to the ocean.

SLSNSW Director of Lifesaving, Joel Wiseman, said that conditions along the NSW coast will become hazardous from tomorrow and is urging the public to take extreme caution if they are visiting the coast.

“A deepening low-pressure system will produce high winds and large surf which will be extremely hazardous for swimmers, surfers, rock fishers and boaters,” said Joel Wiseman.

“The arrival of these conditions coincides with abnormally high tides, with water levels close to or exceeding the usual high water mark. Coastal flooding and erosion is highly likely in some areas,” he said.

Forecast swell conditions could reach 6 metres offshore, with a long-period swell making it particularly treacherous for rock fishing.

“Beaches are not patrolled at this time of year and even experienced surfers will struggle in these conditions. We’d advise giving the rock fishing a miss altogether this weekend,” said Joel Wiseman. “It’s just not worth the risk.”

Surf Life Saving NSW club call-out teams, Duty Officers and surf rescue assets are on standby to respond to critical coastal incidents, however the extreme wind and surf conditions will limit the ability of lifesavers to come to people’s aid.

The hazardous conditions have also forced the cancellation of Round 2 of the NSW Sharkskin IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) Race Series which was scheduled to be run at Forster this weekend.

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

Since 1 July 2020, 44 people have drowned on the NSW coastline, including 9 deaths due to rock fishing.


Hazardous Surf Conditions Safety Tips

  • 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.


Thursday 27 May 2021