Dangerous surf shuts Illawarra beaches

A number of Illawarra beaches are closed on Wednesday as dangerous surf pounds the region’s coastline. 

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned large and powerful surf conditions are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, swimming and surfing.

Wollongong City and Warilla beaches are reported shut due to the rough conditions. Kiama’s Surf beach is also closed.

A southerly swell is gradually moving up the coast.

On-shore waves are between the 2-3 metre mark in some unprotected areas while conditions are significantly more powerful out to sea, according to Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW).

Matt du Plessis from SLSNSW urged people to be aware of the conditions and to only swim at a patrolled location.

“There is quite a powerful undertow off the coast presently, a lot of moving water and we’re seeing rip currents form,” Mr du Plessis said.

“That is why the beaches are closed, and we are strongly encouraging people to know their limitations and to stay out of the water if they have any doubts at all.”

Conditions are expected to ease in the coming days.

SAFETY TIPS DURING HAZARDOUS SURF 

  • Avoid rock fishing and water activities on exposed beaches/rock-shelves
  • Only swim at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags
  • Check the official Bureau of Meteorology 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 call Triple Zero