Surf's up despite hazardous waves
SIGHTSEERS thronged the coastline today to watch surfers paddle out and ride strong waves in the wake of Cyclone Oma.
Byron Bay Surf Club's assistant patrol captain Michael Cave said the crew are pleased that the majority of beach-goers have been heading their advice.
He said there had been no incidents so far.
"Not this morning, everyone has been pretty good,” he said.
"We have had a couple of swimmers go in but they have stayed pretty shallow which has been awesome but not call outs yet.
Mr Cave asked beach-goers to maintain a safety-first approach and take every precaution when near the ocean.
He said it is vital people are aware of the conditions when it it is unsafe to enter the water.
"You get some silly people who think it is just the ocean as normal, but those are the ones you have to educate and say 'hey it different than that',” he said.
"(It's about) keeping them out of the water and being here for the surfers if anyone gets into trouble.”
Mr Cave said the pounding waves combined with a king tide had also affected the beach structure.
"There is a fair bit of beach erosion,” he said.
Fellow life saver Roger Buck said robust sweeps and rips added to the hazardous conditions.
"It's a bit of bad combo with the cyclone and the high tide and that is the tricky bit,” he said.
'Because the experts know what they are doing out there, but if you get the young kids on the beach there, the side sweep with the great high tide is pretty dangerous.”
Surf Life Saving branch duty officer Chris Samuels confirmed all the beaches from the Queensland boarder to Yamaba are closed
"Generally, all swimmers are listening to life savers and life guards on duty,” he said.
"The hazardous surf warnings are likely to be in place for the next few days.”