Four swimmers pulled from the water at one Coast beach
BREAKING: Rescues at a Sunshine Coast beach have spiked this morning.
A south-easterly change has brought windy, messy conditions and increased rip activity to open beaches along the Sunshine Coast, and swimmers outside the red and yellow flags have been falling victim.
Four young swimmers were rescued at Maroochydore beach this morning, and lifeguard supervisor Rhys Drury said all of them - along with "a fair few" others - were swimming outside the flags.
"The actual swell size has dropped off a bit but it's just these stronger winds that are making things really messy and causing a few rips," he said.
Mr Drury said while lifeguards expected the crowds to increase from Boxing Day, no matter how many people were on the beach it was important for swimmers, especially families with young children, to stay between the flags.
"It's one of those things where whether it's bad conditions or good conditions, it's just really important to stay between those flags, just because the lifeguards, we can see you," he said.
"Obviously being outside the flags ... the response time for us to get there, it could be the difference."
The windy, messy conditions are expected to continue into the weekend.
Swimmers looking for a spot protected from southerly winds should head to Mooloolaba Spit or Noosa Main Beach.
If the wind swings around to the north-east, Sunshine Beach and Kings Beach will offer some protection.