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Beaches from Mackay to the Gold Coast expected to remain closed

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) will continue to monitor coastal conditions across the state, with all beaches from Mackay through to the Gold Coast expected to be closed again tomorrow (Friday 31 May) due to powerful and potentially dangerous surf conditions.

The adverse weather and conditions have also forced Surf Life Saving Australia to suspend competition at the Australian Championships again on Friday.

SLSQ operations coordinator Jason Argent urged anyone considering a trip to the beach to exercise extreme caution and heed advice from lifeguards to stay out of the water.

“If a beach is closed, it’s because lifeguards have deemed conditions too dangerous, and allowing members of the public into the water would put their lives at considerable risk,” he said.

With heavy rain continuing to batter the state, SLSQ is also appealing for people to steer clear of river mouths and estuaries.

The deluge flushed large amounts of dirt and debris into the water, making it an ideal playground for bull sharks and other hidden dangers.

Mr Argent said the murky water made it even harder for swimmers to predict the conditions.

“With all the rain we’ve seen lots of dirt, tree logs, and branches become dislodged creating a haven for fish, which in turn can attract sharks,” he said.

“Bull sharks thrive in muddy environments because they know that’s where smaller fish will be feeding.

“Swimmers should also be aware that other hazards may have washed into the water after heavy rain like rubbish, tree branches and rocks.

“These dangers on top of the already strong currents make a recipe for disaster.”

An update on beach status and conditions will be provided early Friday morning.

Until then SLSQ is imploring everyone to stay out of the water.

Safety tips:
• Do not go swimming – beaches are closed today
• Look for and follow the advice of safety signs
• Listen to the emergency warnings and follow the advice of emergency services and your local councils
• Avoid floodwaters and swollen river mouths
• Be careful of debris and other hazards that may have washed into the surf after heavy rainfall, such as rubbish, tree branches and rocks.

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