Surf lifesavers around the state are preparing for a busy weekend with a forecast of large weekend swells prompting safety agencies to issue a hazardous surf warning to all swimmers, surfers, rock fishers, and recreational boaters looking to head out on the water in coming days.
The warning is in place for the state’s entire coastline with a powerful southerly swell of over 3 meters expected to build overnight and continue until at least Sunday.
Beaches between the waters of the Lower North Coast through to the Queensland border are likely to experience larger swells.
A forecast change in the direction of the swell from the east on Monday is likely to bring sets well in excess of 3 metres to the Far North Coast.
NSW Lifesaving Manager Matt du Plessis is urging the public to be aware of the conditions this weekend and to swim at beaches where there are lifesaving assets present.
“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,” said Matt du Plessis.
Lifesavers are using this opportunity to reiterate key safety messages.
“The red and yellow flags are there for a reason and we urge you to make that effort to swim there. We’ve had several instances of people being pulled from rips over summer so please take those few extra seconds to evaluate the conditions and to talk to the lifesaver or lifeguard on duty,” Mr du Plessis said.
Additionally rock fishers in particular should be aware of the long period swell so they need to be extra vigilant when getting on and off exposed platforms.
The conditions which are being driven by a powerful weather system off the coast of Australia are likely to continue until early next week before gradually easing.
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
Friday 16 February 2018