With hazardous weather conditions forecast to impact the NSW coastline from today until early next week, surf lifesavers are urging the public to exercise caution when visiting the coastline.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Hazardous Surf Warning and a Marine Wind Warning for the NSW coast from the Eden Coast to the Illawarra Coast. The hazardous weather conditions are forecast for today, Saturday 8 August, and tomorrow, Sunday 9 August, and may continue into early next week.
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 and seek a safe location that is sheltered from the surf.
Steven Pearce, CEO Surf Life Saving NSW, said that conditions along southern parts of the NSW coast will become dangerous today. He urges the public to take extreme caution if they are visiting the coast.
“A low pressure system is making its way southwest across NSW and is producing high winds, rain and damaging surf. It will create dangerous conditions for swimmers, surfers, rock fishers and boaters,” said Steven Pearce.
“Surf conditions from Eden up to Illawarra may become extreme. We are urging members of the public not to engage in coastal activities that might put them at risk. If people put themselves in danger in these conditions, our surf lifesavers may not be able to save them,” said Steven Pearce.
With sea swells of up to four metres being forecast and strong winds and heavy rain in some locations, there is a threat of more coastal erosion and flooding in low-lying areas. Exacerbating the impact of strong winds and large swells is a rising tide which will affect sea levels along the NSW coastline.
Surf Life Saving NSW is a gazetted emergency service organisation and has call-out teams, Duty Officers and surf rescue assets on standby. The Sydney-based Surf Rescue 30 offshore rescue boat and Surf Rescue 40 and Surf Rescue 50 jetboats, based in Ballina and Kiama, will also be on standby to respond to critical coastal incidents.
Rescue Water Craft (jetski) operations and the SLSNSW State Operations Centre will be operational between 7am and 5pm across the weekend – with support services extended as required. Surf Rescue emergency call-out teams will remain on high alert through the weekend.
Since 1 July 2020, five people have drowned on the NSW coastline. During the 2019/20 season, 42 people drowned on the NSW coastline - two above the 10-year average.
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.
Saturday 8 August 2020