WEATHER: Dangerous surf warning in place

A DEVELOPING weather system off the NSW Coastline has prompted surf lifesavers and the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a warning for all beachgoers to exercise caution when entering the water over the next few days.

A dangerous surf warning is in place for New South Wales from the Illawarra region through to Northern NSW from Monday with the conditions expected to continue to build until at least Wednesday.

Swells are predicted to peak at around 3-4 metres in some areas, but are forecast to be larger and stronger offshore.

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Southern facing beaches will encounter the strongest of the conditions as the southerly swell travels up the coast.

Is it anticipated that these conditions will reach the Northern Rivers by around mid-day Tuesday.

The warning is a timely reminder of the power of the ocean following the drowning deaths of two men last week at Bellinger and Bondi respectively.

NSW Operations Manager Andy Kent has urged the public to take the warnings seriously.

"The best advice we can give people is to be aware of their environment and the changing conditions," Mr Kent said.

"Take the time to study a recent weather forecast before heading out and let others know what your plans are."

Mr Kent also urged all beachgoers not to take any unnecessary risks especially as volunteer surf lifesavers aren't on patrol on weekdays.

"These tragic incidents reinforce the importance of swimming at a patrolled location and we strongly encourage everyone thinking about engaging in an activity on or around the coast to make that extra effort and go where lifeguards are.

Additionally a strong swell period of between 10-11 seconds has also been forecast with rockfishers in particular urged to be aware of the conditions when getting on and off exposed platforms.

General Safety Tips During Dangerous 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

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