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January 31, 2023

Big swells set to hit north coast

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Rock fishers, swimmers, surfers, and recreational boat users are being urged to be wary of dangerous surf conditions building up today along the north coast.

The big south-easterly swell, with predicted peaks of up to three metres in some areas,  has prompted surf lifesavers and the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a warning about the hazardous conditions.

The warning covers the coastline between Illawarra and the Byron coast.

Surf Life Saving NSW duty operations coordinator Andrew Ugarte said conditions on the weekend were likely to be powerful with the hazardous swell expected to stretch as far south as Eden with a peak of between 3-5 metres forecast.

‘Offshore conditions are likely to be significantly stronger while southern facing beaches and exposed rock platforms are expected to bear the brunt of the weather,’ Mr Ugarte said.

‘Additionally there will be a long period swell of up to 14 seconds along most parts of the coast, which is particularly important for rock fishers to be aware of if they are accessing exposed platforms.

‘Water temperatures in NSW are actually on the milder side and as the promise of spring draws nearer means more and more people will plan weekends in the oceans.

‘The best advice we can give people is to be aware of their environment and the changing conditions. Take the time to study a recent weather forecast before heading out and let others know what your plans are.

‘While it’s always difficult to predict how these swells will impact a particular beach it’s prudent for water users to remain vigilant especially around high-tide.

‘A great first port of call is the BeachSafe App or website which provides an overview of all patrolled beaches, beach closures and other important safety information which is particularly handy in winter,’ Mr Ugarte said.

General safety tips during dangerous 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

Useful Links:

BeachSafe Website – https://beachsafe.org.au/
Bureau of Meteorology – http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/
Marine Rescue NSW – http://www.marinerescuensw.com.au/boating-safety

 


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