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The first days of winter will bring a powerful swell to the NSW coastline with rock fishers, boaties, surfers, and swimmers all urged to be vigilant after the Bureau of Meteorology issued a Hazardous Surf Warning.

A warning has been issued for the entire NSW coastline with the powerful conditions forecast to last until at least late Saturday.

The southerly swell has been building throughout Thursday and is expected to intensify offshore overnight and into Friday.

Southern facing beaches and exposed rock platforms are expected to bear the brunt of the conditions with sets in excess of 4 metres predicted in some areas.

With waves and wind stronger offshore, boat users are being urged to be particularly mindful of the conditions throughout the weekend and exercise extreme caution if crossing river bars.

The onset of winter is traditionally a great time for rock fishing, but fishers are urged to wear the correct safety gear including a lifejacket, fish with a friend, take care when getting on and off rock platforms, and to never turn their back on the ocean.

It is anticipated that the swell conditions will begin to ease by Sunday though caution is still advised as the forecast is continually revised.

“While the strong winds and large waves are likely to deter many people from entering the water over the next couple of days, it is important that beachgoers are still mindful of the conditions as they can change very quickly,” said NSW Duty Operations Coordinator Andrew Ugarte.

Mr Ugarte urged the public to take the warnings seriously particularly because volunteer patrols have finished for the season, and only a few beaches across the state are currently manned by lifeguards.

“Please take note of the safety warnings and if you have any doubt whatsoever about your ability to handle the conditions. It’s better not to go in,” he said.

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. See the Beachsafe Website for patrolled locations/times          

  • Check the official Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecast befor 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

Thursday 31 May 2018