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Rock fishers, boaties, surfers, and swimmers are urged to think twice before heading out into the water on Wednesday. The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning which includes a forecast for hazardous surf this week.

NSW Emergency services are preparing for a challenging day on Wednesday for the east coast with heavy rain and strong winds anticipated from mid-morning.

The hazardous surf warning concentrates on the coastline between Sydney and the Illawarra as a southerly swell continues to build overnight.

Southern facing beaches and exposed rock platforms are forecast to bear the brunt of the conditions with swells reaching up to four metres offshore. 

The winter-like conditions are being propelled by the presence of a low pressure system off the coastline with the strong winds likely to have an impact on the power of the waves.

It is expected that the swell will ease into Thursday.

Additionally rock fishers are urged to exercise caution getting on and off rock platforms in the coming days with a swell period of up to 11 seconds forecast.

Of more concern is the potential for flash flooding throughout metropolitan Sydney and other low-lying coastal areas as well as damaging winds.

Two years ago during the East Coast Low of June 2016 that almost destroyed the Coogee clubhouse, surf lifesavers played their part in assisting with evacuations in flood zones alongside police, firefighters, and the State Emergency Service.

“Inter-agency cooperation is incredibly important and while our focus remains on the coast, our members are part of their communities and they are willing and able to assist if required,” said CEO Steven Pearce.

He also urged all recreational water users to be mindful of the conditions.

“If you’re going to be out on a boat or fishing we urge you to wear the correct safety equipment including lifejackets, check in with others, and get as much information as possible about the weather and sea conditions before heading out.

“Our call-out teams are ready and willing to respond to any coastal emergency, but our advice is to heed safety warnings and if you have any doubt whatsoever about your ability to handle the conditions it’s best not to risk it,” Mr Pearce 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. Visit 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  

Wednesday 28 November 2018