Shark nets have been removed from North Coast beaches due to impending bad weather.
Shark nets have been removed from North Coast beaches due to impending bad weather. Marc Stapelberg

'Stay out of the water': 3 metre swell on the way

Update 5.05pm: BEACHGOERS across Northern NSW are being urged to remain vigilant both in and around the water in coming days as a developing swell has prompted the Bureau of Meteorology and Surf Life Saving to issue a warning for hazardous surf conditions.

A warning has been issued for the coastline between Coffs Harbour and the Queensland border and is expected to be in place for at least the next 48 hours.

Swells peaking at more than 3 metres have been forecast on Thursday with beaches particularly across the Far North Coast likely to experience the full force of the conditions.

It is anticipated that the strong swell will continue into Friday as the full effects from the weather system travelling down the coast become clearer in coming days.

Currently only three beaches in the most northern part of the state are patrolled during the week with lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service stationed at Byron Bay Main Beach, Kingscliff Main Beach, and Lennox Head.

A decision on whether they will be open will be made after an assessment of conditions, although with the deteriorating weather, lifesavers are encouraging people to stay out of the water where possible.

"This season we've had a number of tragic drownings at our beaches and many rescues involving people getting caught in rip currents, and all of these incidents are a sobering reminder of the power of the ocean," Far North Coast Duty Officer Jimmy Keough said.

"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 during Hazardous Surf Conditions: 
* Avoid rock fishing and water activities on exposed beaches/rock-shelves
* Only swim at patrolled beaches, between the red & yellow flags. See 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 

Useful Links: 
BeachSafe Website - 
Bureau of Meteorology - 


Original story 2.07pm: SHARKS nets will not be in the water on North Coast beaches from today due to approaching bad weather.

The Department of primary Industries said via twitter all North Coast shark nets were to be removed due to an approaching low pressure weather system.

They said nets would be returned to the water when conditions allowed.

SMART drumlines were not put in the water today at Ballina and Evans Head.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned surf and swell conditions are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating, and swimming along the Byron Coast.

BoM reports said ex-Tropical Cyclone Linda has transitioned into a vigorous subtropical low in the past few hours.

The system was expected to move generally to the southwest during today before taking on a more southerly track on Thursday, and was expected to remain offshore of the southern Queensland coast.

At its closest approach to the coast, the remains of Tropical Cyclone Linda will generate large waves and dangerous surf conditions about exposed southern Queensland beaches. Tides are also expected to be higher than normal, particularly on Thursday morning's high tide. A Severe Weather Warning is current for these conditions.


Dangerous surf conditions are expected about exposed southern Queensland beaches during today and Thursday.

Tides are expected to be higher than normal, particularly on Thursday morning's high tide.

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