Illawarra weather: Dangerous surf to hammer Wollongong coastline on Saturday

Dangerous surf is expected for much of the NSW coast on Saturday.

Big seas are set to hammer the state’s entire coastline this weekend, prompting Surf Life Saving NSW and the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a warning to rock fishers, swimmers surfers and boaties.

The warning is expected to be in place for at least the next 48 hours.

A southerly swell has been forecast to continue to steadily build throughout Friday and is likely to intensify tomorrow with peaks of over three metres expected in some areas.

Stronger conditions are expected further offshore, and with coastal wind warnings also in place it is important for people to be aware of the rapidly changing environment.

Read more: Wind rips off the roof of Crown Street surgery

Offshore conditions are likely to be significantly stronger while southern facing beaches and exposed rock platforms are expected to bear the brunt of the weather.

At this stage it is anticipated that the hazardous swell conditions will continue well into Sunday before gradually easing into next week.

Rock fishers in particular are encouraged to wear a lifejacket and be aware of the swell period, especially as they get on and off exposed rock platforms.

With most of the state’s beaches remaining unpatrolled for another month, SLSNSW Lifesaving manager Matt Du Plessis is urging the public to be aware of the changing conditions.

“It’s important that anyone looking to head to the beach this weekend is aware of these hazardous conditions and factors it into their planning.

“A great first port of call is the BeachSafe App or website which provides an overview of all patrolled beaches, beach closures and other important safety information which is particularly handy in winter,” said Mr Du Plessis.

“While we do have emergency assets on call, it does take time for them to get to you, so if you have any doubt about your abilities to handle the conditions it’s safer not to go out.”

In total the SES responded to 898 jobs on Friday afternoon, including damaged homes. Wollongong and the Sutherland Shire were among the areas hardest-hit.