Strong winds, high tides and dangerous surf will combine to create potentially hazardous coastal conditions this weekend.
With a number of drownings and searches still underway for missing swimmers, surf lifesavers are pleading with the public to exercise extreme caution on the NSW coast over coming days.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Severe Weather Warning and Hazardous Surf Warning for NSW coastal regions as a result of Tropical Cyclone Oma.
Related: Surf Report with John Veage
The Bureau said Oma, while impacting Queensland, will send strong winds and dangerous surf down the NSW coast on Friday and into the weekend.
Surf Life Saving NSW duty operations officer Andrew Ugarte is warning everyone to stay safe and take caution.
“Friday and Saturday could see three-to-four metre swell with a 12-14 second period interval impacting the North Coast and Far North Coast beaches in particular. These conditions could stick around until the early part of next week.
“Tides aren’t large but an incoming tide on Saturday morning will be treacherous especially for fishers and boats crossing river bars.”
Conditions may force widespread beach closures.
“Please don’t take unnecessary risks. Don’t put yourselves or our volunteer surf lifesavers in danger. Together with the BoM, we issue these warnings in an effort to prevent further drownings,” Mr Ugarte said.
The southern part of the state will be affected by a separate system with a strong series of wind pulses in the south Tasman Sea. These are expected to bring solid southeast swell to the coast on Saturday afternoon, Sunday and into next week.
NSW Police Force, Marine Area Command advise that:
- 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.
- Boaters planning to cross shallow water and ocean bars should consider changing or delaying their voyage.
- Boaters already on the water should carry the appropriate safety equipment and wear a lifejacket.
- Boaters should remember to log on with their local Marine Rescue radio base, via VHF Radio or the Marine Rescue APP, and consider their safety management plan.