‘Be cautious’: Huge swell may close beaches


Surfers and swimmers are being warned of hazardous conditions at popular Queensland beaches as a weather system that pummelled Sydney beaches makes its way up the coast.

Winds are expected to reach speeds of 55km/h on Friday morning, increasing offshore swells to four metres with seas set to reach three metres.

Earlier this week, the New South Wales coast was battered by wild weather, with waves reaching 11.5 metres.

The Bureau of Meteorology said large and powerful surf conditions were expected on Thursday and Friday, making coastal activities such as rock fishing, surfing and swimming potentially hazardous along the Fraser Island coast and in Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast waters.

A surfer at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
A surfer at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

A deep low pressure system over the Tasman Sea brought the hazardous conditions to New South Wales, with Queensland set to get the tail end.

While onshore conditions aren't too "extravagant" at the moment, the Gold Coast's chief lifesaver Warren Young is warning that could change very quickly as the system continues to move.

"We keep an eye on things. Really, when it comes to the surf, you have to monitor it hour by hour," he said.

"One of our general warnings when you have a rising groundswell is to be cautious.

"Even if you're the most experienced surfer, don't over-estimate your ability."

While there have been no rescues this morning, lifeguards along the coast are prepared for the inevitable.

"People do tend to become more aware when there's big conditions. Swimmers stay close to the beach and within the flags and surfers surf to the conditions," he said.

"We'll play it hour by hour. If conditions becomes really dangerous we will close the beach, but right now that's not likely."


Originally published as 'Be cautious': Huge swell may close beaches