Hazardous Surf Warning for Waverley's beaches

14 December 2022

Waverley Council lifeguards are urging people to stay safe at Waverley’s three beaches Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte this week with hazardous surf and marine wind warnings issued for the Sydney, Illawarra, Batemans, Eden and Hunter coasts.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns of a deep low pressure system centred over the central Tasman Sea and gale force winds in the Sydney region tomorrow (Thursday).

Surf and swell conditions are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such swimming, boating and rock fishing.

Bruce Hopkins, coordinator, Waverley Council Lifeguard Service, implored beachgoers to always follow instructions for lifeguards and observe safety signage.

“In the event that our beaches and Bronte Pool is closed, do not enter the water, and 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,” Mr Hopkins said.

“This is a very busy time of year heading into Christmas and we need people to stay safe at our beaches and not put their lives at risk or the lives of our Lifeguards.”

On 1 December, Randwick City and Waverley Councils launched its new Float to Survive water safety pilot campaign aimed at reducing the record number of drownings in Australia.

The campaign, held in partnership with the University of NSW (UNSW) Beach Safety Research Group for the start of summer, promotes floating as the best chance of survival for swimmers who get into trouble in the water.

“Learning how to float could be the difference between life and death,” Mr Hopkins said.

“If you can relax and float, you’ll stand a better chance of being rescued or drifting out of a rip whilst conserving your energy.”

Watch the Float to Survive instructional video here.

This year Australia recorded its highest drowning rates in the last 10 years with 339 deaths and many of these drownings occurred at unpatrolled beaches, or out of hours, and in rivers and lakes.

"Today’s marine weather warnings are a timely reminder of how quickly conditions can change at our beaches,” Mr Hopkins said.

NSW Police Force, Marine Area Command advise that:

  • People should consider staying out of the water and avoid walking near surf-exposed areas.
  • Rock fishers should avoid coastal rock platforms exposed to the ocean and seek a safe location that is sheltered from the surf.
  • Boaters planning to cross shallow water and ocean bars should consider changing or delaying their voyage.
  • Boaters already on the water should carry the appropriate safety equipment and wear a lifejacket.
  • Boaters should remember to log on with their local Marine Rescue radio base, via VHF Radio or the Marine Rescue APP, and consider their safety management plan.

A cold front will bring a southerly change to Sydney Waters today. After this, southwest to southeasterly winds will persist for the remainder of the week as a low-pressure system gradually moves east over the southern Tasman Sea.

Click here for all Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings.

Follow Waverley Council on socials for updates on beach closures.