'Deceptively' powerful surf to hit Northern Rivers beaches

11th November 2017 4:00 AM
Surf Life Saving NSW has issued a dangerous surf warning for much of the NSW coast for Saturday. Surf Life Saving NSW has issued a dangerous surf warning for much of the NSW coast for Saturday. Surf Life Saving NSW

HAZARDOUS surf conditions are expected along the Far North Coast coast tomorrow with rock fishers, boaters and inexperienced surfers being warned to exercise caution.

The swell is forecast in the 2-3m range, however it will boast a powerful long-period interval of around 15 seconds.

Combined with an incoming tide this morning, such conditions could produce "deceptively powerful" intermittent waves which could be particularly hazardous for rock fishing, according to Surf Life Saving NSW.

"If you are not an experienced surfer or you're planning on rock fishing you need to be vigilant," NSW Lifesaving manager Matt du Plessis said.

"While the swell is not especially large, the long-period will mean occasional waves coming through that could definitely pack a punch."

Rock fishing is particularly dangerous in such conditions because of the break between sets giving the impression of calmer conditions than is the case.

Seven people have died in NSW during 2017 while rock fishing or doing other activities on rock platforms such as taking photos.

"Some simple ways to stay safe include checking the latest tide and weather forecasts, know your limitations, wear a life jacket and always let others know your plans," Mr du Plessis said.

Safety tips during hazardous surf conditions: 

Avoid rock fishing and water activities on exposed beaches or rock-shelves

Only swim at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags.

See www.beachsafe.org.au 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 000 - Police