Strong winds, high tides and dangerous surf will combine to create potentially hazardous coastal conditions this weekend. With a number of drownings and searches still underway for missing swimmers, surf lifesavers are pleading with the public to exercise extreme caution on the coast over coming days.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Severe Weather Warning and Hazardous Surf Warning for NSW coastal regions as a result of Tropical Cyclone Oma.
BoM says Oma, while impacting Queensland, will send strong winds and dangerous surf down the NSW coast on Friday and into the weekend.
SLSNSW Duty Operations Officer Andrew Ugarte is warning everyone to stay safe and take caution. ‘Friday and Saturday could see three-to-four metre swell with a 12-14 second period interval impacting the North Coast and Far North Coast beaches in particular,’ he said.
‘These conditions could stick around until the early part of next week.
Ugarte says tides aren’t large but an incoming tide on Saturday morning will be treacherous especially for fishers and boats crossing river bars.
Conditions may force widespread beach closures. ‘Please don’t take unnecessary risks. Don’t put yourselves or our volunteer surf lifesavers in danger,’ he said. ‘Together with the BoM, we issue these warnings in an effort to prevent further drownings.’
The southern part of the state will be affected by a separate system. A strong series of wind pulses in the south Tasman Sea. These are expected to bring solid southeast swell to the coast on Saturday afternoon, Sunday and into next week.
SLSNSW advises it will be a dangerous weekend on coastal waters everywhere north of Ulladulla and caution everyone to be vigilant and safe.
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 the Beachsafe Website 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