Showers and cooler conditions are expected over the next few days with a tropical low over Queensland that may generate large waves and hazardous surf conditions from Sunday on the North Coast.
Surf Life Saving NSW have warned that this possible east coast low will coincide with very high tides increasing the risk significantly for incidents to occur along the North Coast.
‘New Years is a high-risk period for coastal incidents and drownings,’ said a spokesperson for Surf Life Saving NSW and they are ‘reminding people to heed safety warnings around alcohol and swimming or boating, and swimming at unpatrolled locations, where the vast bulk of tragedies occur this time of year’.
‘Volunteer lifesavers and lifeguards are on high alert, particularly in party hotspots like Byron Bay.’
The Far North Coast Support Operations team will be fully operational during the New Year festivities conducting surveillance patrols along the coast and assisting other emergency services.
‘We are asking everyone not to enter the water over New Years if the conditions develop as predicted. Large swell and instability brought about by a developing east coast low will make conditions potentially treacherous,’ said Far North Coast Emergency Coordinator Jimmy Keough.
Australian Lifeguard Service personnel will be on duty at Byron Bay for extended hours, patrolling through to the early hours of Saturday morning to keep revelers safe.
‘It’s the uncertain conditions which present difficulties for our lifesavers in terms of how to prepare for what might happen,’ said Joel Wiseman, Surf Life Saving NSW Director of Lifesaving.
‘There’s pent up desire to get out and enjoy the outdoors after a year of lockdowns and many people are moving around the state and visiting coastal holiday spots that they may not be familiar with. It’s a high risk time and we implore everyone to heed surf safety advice and amend their activities to suit the conditions.’