Swimmers, surfers, and boat users planning a visit to the beach over the next few days are being urged by the lifesaving community to exercise caution with a hazardous surf warning in place along much of the state’s coastline.
A warning has been issued for the coastline between Sydney and Coffs Harbour on Thursday and is expected to continue until at least Friday evening as a powerful swell continues to build along the entire coast.
Onshore waves are expected to peak between 2-3 metres at beaches right across the state, and though some beaches will be protected by virtue of their geography, lifesavers are encouraging everyone to be aware of the rapidly changing conditions.
It is anticipated that the swell will ease into Saturday in waters between the Victorian Border and Newcastle, though the warning will likely remain in place for beaches north of Taree and extending through to the Far North Coast.
The warning comes as surf lifesavers recover from their busiest patrol of the season as volunteers carried out almost 500 rescues last week.
Of these rescues 105 were performed at North Bondi while a further 67 were at the southern end of the famous beach. With huge crowds descending on the eastern suburbs in an effort to beat the heat, the lifesavers and lifeguards had to shoulder a heavy workload.
Other beaches that saw plenty of action included Bulli where 63 rescues were performed, and North Cronulla (28).
With much of the state remaining on flood watch and a number of weather warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology throughout the week, lifesavers are encouraging the public to listen to the latest safety advice from all emergency services.
“Whether people are at the beach or near any other form of water we want everyone to take their safety seriously, and listen to the experts such as the SES and Police who have done a fantastic job under challenging circumstances this week,” said NSW Lifesaving Manager Matt du Plessis.
“If you choose to participate in a coastal activity such as swimming, surfing, fishing or boating, as always we strongly urge everyone to take any warnings that are in place seriously and you have any doubt whatsoever about your ability to handle the water it’s better not to go in,” he said.
Volunteer surf lifesavers will be on patrol this weekend and decisions on beach closures will be made on a case-by-case basis following a thorough assessment of conditions.
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 www.beachsafe.org.au 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
Thursday 22 March 2018