Dozens have been rescued on Queensland beaches today.
Dozens have been rescued on Queensland beaches today. Warren Lynam

Dozens rescued from dangerous seas

AN unusually hazardous winter swell is causing havoc on Queensland beaches and is expected to worsen in coming days, Surf Life Saving Queensland has warned.

Lifeguards today conducted 40 rescues and closed nine beaches across the Sunshine Coast and a rescue helicopter was used to take an injured surfer from Moreton Island to hospital.

Twin Waters, North Stradbroke Island (Main Beach), Sunshine Beach, Peregian, Mudjimba, Discovery Beach, Currimundi, Coolum and Kawana were all closed to swimmers because of the hazardous conditions.

Of the 40 rescues, 39 were at Noosa.

Wild surf conditions at the Sunshine Coast
Wild surf conditions at the Sunshine Coast

Lifeguards have been kept busy with school holidays hitting at the same time as the dangerous swell.

Sunshine Coast Lifeguard Trent Robinson said the swell was "unseasonal" and was the result of a tropical low.

A middle-aged man was flown to the Princess Alexandra Hospital with neck injuries after being dumped by a wave around 10am.

Surf Life Saving Queensland has also postponed the QLD IRB Championships due to the dangerous conditions and is preparing for the massive swell that will hit shores later this week.

Mr Robinson urged beachgoers to "please adhere to lifeguard warnings and swim between red and yellow flags".

The monster swell will also see the removal of shark control protection equipment from the Sunshine Coast.

Fisheries Queensland Shark Control Program Manager Michael Mikitis said the equipment was generally removed when wild seas are predicted.

"There is a small window to safely remove the equipment before the predicted severe weather impacts," Mr Mikitis said.

"Nets and drumlines will be removed from Rainbow Beach to Caloundra and North Stradbroke Island beaches over the next two days.

"The situation will be monitored closely over the next 48 hours and teams are prepared to reinstall the gear if the weather conditions allow.

"At this stage, shark control equipment on the Gold Coast will not be removed from the water, however we will keep a close eye on the weather and respond accordingly if necessary.

Mr Mikitis said temporarily removing the equipment prevented it from coming loose and becoming a danger to swimmers and boats

"Anyone who sees any unsecured shark control equipment including ropes, netting or buoys, should call the Shark Control Program Hotline on 1800 806 891," he said.

"Swimmers are also advised to follow safe swimming practices, including swimming between the flags and not swimming at dusk or dawn, particularly with the shark control equipment out of action temporarily.

"In rough conditions, it's important that people take advice from the Queensland Surf Life Saving Service as to whether they should go into the water."

Typical flatter winter conditions are expected to return next week.