File photo of hazardous beach conditions at Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head.
File photo of hazardous beach conditions at Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head.

Emergency teams on standby: Wild swell, strong wind expected

WITH hazardous weather conditions forecast to continue to impact much of the NSW coastline this weekend, surf lifesavers are urging the public to exercise caution if visiting the coastline.

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The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Hazardous Surf Warning and a Marine Wind Warning for the NSW coast from the Eden Coast to the Byron Coast. The hazardous weather conditions are forecast to continue throughout today.

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Conditions will continue to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating, surfing and swimming. People should consider staying out of the water and avoid walking near surf-exposed areas. Rock fishers should avoid coastal rock platforms exposed to the ocean and seek a safe location that is sheltered from the surf.

Joel Wiseman, director of Lifesaving at Surf Life Saving NSW, said that conditions along parts of the NSW coast are currently very dangerous. He urged the public to take extreme caution if they are visiting the coast.

"The low pressure system has produced high winds and damaging surf with significant wave height. It has created extremely dangerous conditions for swimmers, surfers, rock fishers and boaters," Mr Wiseman said.

"Surf conditions on much of the NSW Coast are currently extreme. We urge members of the public not to engage in risky coastal activities. If people put themselves in danger in these conditions, our lifesavers may not be able to save them," he said.

With large sea swells of up to 11 metres being recorded earlier this week and strong winds in some locations, there is a threat of continuing erosion and flooding in low-lying areas. Exacerbating the impact of strong winds and large swells is the low-pressure system which is affecting sea levels along the NSW coastline. Large tidal surges are a possibility in some areas.

Surf Life Saving NSW has emergency call-out teams, Duty Officers and surf rescue assets are on standby this weekend. The Surf Rescue 30 Offshore Rescue Boat based in Sydney, Surf Rescue 40 and Surf Rescue 50 jetboats and crews will also be on standby in Ballina and Kiama to respond to any critical coastal incidents.

Supporting the offshore rescue boats will be RWC (jetski) operations and the SLSNSW State Operations Centre will be operational between 7am and 5pm - with support services extended as required. Surf Rescue emergency call-out teams will remain on high alert through the week.

Visit beachsafe.org.au or download the Beachsafe App, to find patrolled locations and up-to-date beach conditions.

Since July 1, five people have drowned on the NSW coastline. During the 2019/20 season, 42 people drowned on the NSW coastline - two above the 10-year average.

Hazardous Surf Conditions Safety Tips:

• 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-0 (000) - Police.



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