Forecast of large swells prompts surf safety warning

24 July 2020

If you witness an in-water emergency, please inform our Council Lifeguards, or if it is after hours, dial Triple Zero (000) and ask for the Police. Our current lifeguard patrols hours are 7am to 5pm at Waverley’s three beaches

Waverley Council is urging people to stay safe next week with swells of between three to four metres forecasted to impact parts of the east coast including Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama beaches from Monday 27 July.

Manager of Lifeguard Service, Matt du Plessis (pictured), said people should check the Bureau of Meterology (BOM) website for hazardous surf warnings before visiting our beaches.

“One of the best advice I can give is when there is a large surf, don't come down to the beach, rather spend that time at home, if you can, it's a lot safer,” Mr du Plessis said.

“We've had a few incidents over the past few years with people getting washed off rock platforms and unfortunately this has resulted in fatalities, so we urge everyone, please, stay off the rocks.

“For those who go surfing, we advise to stay out of the surf, only the experienced surfers go out there, and certainly if you are beginner surfer, leave the boards at home, come down for a watch from a safe distance of the pro surfers, but do not go beyond your capabilities.

“If you are unsure, please speak to our lifeguards. They are here to help and will provide the best advice on the day because sometimes the conditions might look ok but be really dangerous because of the rips and big waves crashing against the rocks.”

Waverley Council lifeguards constantly monitor weather conditions and patterns, particularly when there are large swells.

“During these times, we’ll have an even more keen eye on the ocean pools, the rock platforms and the beaches,” Mr du Plessis said.

“At times we may decide that it is too dangerous to keep the pools open and then we'll close the pools. Please be aware and work with our lifeguards on that. They are there to protect you, so please listen to the messaging. They are here to keep you safe.

“With regards to Bronte Pool, for some people it may look like it's ok to go in for a swim but as we all know the ocean is very unpredictable and you may get some sets that wash through the pool and that instance could wash you out of the pool onto the rocks into the water and then you are in a situation where yourself and the lifeguards are at risk.”

Hazardous Surf Warnings will be issued by the BOM where conditions are hazardous and can be issued up to 42 hours in advance. The warning can also be cancelled if the conditions settle rapidly.

The warnings are available on the Bureau's National Warnings Summary and on the NSW and QLD state warning summary pages. Details: http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings/

-ENDS-

Media inquiries: media@waverley.nsw.gov.au or 0416 075 532