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Rock fishers, boaties, surfers, and swimmers looking to make the most of the glorious winter sunshine are being urged to check the conditions before heading out into the water after the after the Bureau of Meteorology issued a Hazardous Surf Warning on Monday.

The southerly swell has been building throughout the weekend and is expected to peak on the incoming tide this morning.

Although surf conditions may be challenging for the whole NSW coastline, a warning has been issued for the Lower North Coast between Port Stephens and Smokey Cape as forecasts indicate that the powerful surf is expected to remain for the day then slowly abate over the following 24 hours.

Southern facing beaches and exposed rock platforms are expected to bear the brunt of the conditions with sets in excess of 3 metres predicted in some areas, though some will naturally offer more shelter thanks to their geographic layout.

Strong winds throughout Monday will impact on the waves generated close to shore with boat users being urged to be particularly mindful of the conditions and to exercise extreme caution if crossing river bars.

Following the death of a rock fisherman at Cape Banks earlier this month the lifesaving community is again pleading with fishers 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 on Tuesday afternoon though forecasts are continually being refined.

“Although it is shaping up to be a beautiful day on our coastline it is crucial that beachgoers take the time to assess the conditions before heading out as they can change very quickly,” said NSW Duty Operations Coordinator Andrew Ugarte.

Mr Ugarte urged the public to take the warnings seriously with weekend volunteer patrols just over a month away from returning and only a few beaches around NSW currently having lifeguards on duty throughout the week.

“Our call-out teams are ready and willing to respond to any coastal emergency, but our best advice is to take note of any 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 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


Monday 20 August 2018