Mid North Coast swimmers, surfers, rock fishers and boat users are urged to exercise caution while in the water with deceptively powerful conditions expected along the coast on Thursday afternoon.
The warning, issued by Surf Lifesaving NSW and the Bureau of Meteorology, is in place for coastline stretching from the South Coast through to Seal Rocks.
It is expected that the southerly swell will gradually intensify throughout today before peaking overnight and into Friday.
Swells of between 2.5 – 3.5 metres have been forecast with conditions significantly stronger offshore.
Similar conditions are anticipated throughout Friday before the swell gradually eases into the weekend, however recreational water users are urged not to be complacent about their safety.
A swell period of between 11-12 seconds has been forecast for much of NSW with rock fishers in particular urged to be aware of deceptive conditions especially when getting onto and off exposed platforms.
Surf Life Saving NSW acting operations manager Andy Kent said the warning about potentially hazardous conditions shouldn’t be taken likely.
“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,” Mr Kent said.
“It’s critically important that we continue to have these discussions about keeping safe in the ocean environment as sadly sometimes these messages aren’t getting through. In the last two weeks there have been three coastal drownings in NSW waters including two rock fishers with neither man wearing a lifejacket.”
Mr Kent also urged all beachgoers not to take any unnecessary risks especially as volunteer surf lifesavers aren’t on patrol on weekdays.
Volunteer surf lifesavers will patrol NSW beaches each weekend and public holiday for the 2016/17 season through to Tuesday, April 25, 2017. For further information please see beachsafe.org.
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