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Huge waves driven by gale-force winds are expected along much of the NSW coastline this weekend with the forecast conditions prompting surf lifesavers and the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a Hazardous Surf Warning.

Autumn has finally arrived with the warning set to be in place for at least the next 48 hours, though it could also potentially extend well into next week as the forecast models continue to be refined in the coming days.

Currently, the warning for Saturday covers the coastline from Eden through to Sydney with a southerly swell building throughout the day with peaks of between 2-4 metres.

On Sunday conditions are likely to be significantly stronger with the warning extending from the Far South Coast to at least Coffs Harbour.

Sets of between 5-8 metres are forecast for some areas with south facing and exposed beaches likely to bear the brunt of the conditions.

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 cooler months are 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.

NSW Lifesaving Manager Matt du Plessis is urging all water users to be aware that the warning is in place this weekend especially because volunteer patrols have now finished for the season.

“While the strong winds and large waves are likely to deter many people from entering the water this weekend, it is important that beachgoers are still mindful of the conditions

“Although patrols have finished there are still surf lifesaving assets available to respond to coastal emergencies, but it can take time for our callout teams to get to you.

“In addition there are a number of beaches still patrolled by council lifeguards, and we urge beachgoers to familiarise themselves with those locations,” said Mr du Plessis.

“Please take note of the safety warnings and if you have any doubt whatsoever about your ability to handle the water 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. 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


Friday 11 May 2018