The first days of winter are set to bring a powerful swell to the NSW coastline with rock fishers, boaties, surfers, and swimmers all urged to be vigilant.
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The Bureau of Meteorology issued a Hazardous Surf Warning for the entire NSW coastline with the powerful conditions expected to last until at least late Saturday.
The southerly swell has been building throughout Thursday and is expected to intensify offshore overnight and into Friday.
Southern facing beaches and exposed rock platforms are expected to bear the brunt of the conditions with sets in excess of 4 metres predicted in some areas.
With waves and wind stronger offshore, boat users are being urged to be particularly mindful of the conditions throughout the weekend and exercise extreme caution if crossing river bars.
The onset of winter is traditionally a great time for rock fishing, but fishers are urged to wear the correct safety gear including a lifejacket, fish with a friend, take care when getting on and off rock platforms, and to never turn their back on the ocean.
It is anticipated that the swell conditions will begin to ease by Sunday though caution is still advised as the forecast is continually revised.
“While the strong winds and large waves are likely to deter many people from entering the water over the next couple of day, it is important that beachgoers are still mindful of the conditions,” NSW Duty Operations coordinator Andrew Ugarte said.
Mr Ugarte urged the public to take the warnings seriously, particularly because volunteer patrols have finished for the season, and only a few beaches across the state are currently manned by lifeguards.
“Please take note of the safety warnings and if you have any doubt whatsoever about your ability to handle the water it’s better not to go in,” he said.
General safety tips for hazardous surf conditions:
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