Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has announced it will close all Gold Coast beaches tomorrow, as dangerous and powerful surf continues to batter the coastline.
While conditions will be reassessed on Sunday morning, SLSQ lifesaving services coordinator Nathan Fife said there was a possibility the closures could extend across the entire weekend.
“The surf conditions at the moment are extremely powerful, unstable and dangerous, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay well away from the water over the next 24 to 48 hours,” he said.
“We understand it might be an inconvenience to some people, particularly over the weekend, but it’s a decision we’ve made in the interests of public safety.
“There are lots of rips, gutters and particularly large swells across the Gold Coast at the moment which could quickly catch people off-guard and lead to extremely dangerous and life-threatening situations.
“We’ll reassess the conditions on Sunday morning before determining whether it’s safe to reopen the beaches,” he said.
The decision was made in consultation with the Gold Coast City Council lifeguard service, which also closed Gold Coast beaches on Friday.
Despite the closures, surf lifesavers will still be stationed along the coastline to actively warn would-be swimmers from entering the water, while the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service will be performing extra patrols on Friday and across the weekend.
Mr Fife is hoping the early announcement will give people who were planning to head to the beach tomorrow enough time to change plans and come up with an alternative option for their weekend.
“Our message is clear and simple – stay out of the Gold Coast surf over the next few days. Go to the movies, swim in a pool, or head to the local park instead, but don’t unnecessarily put your life at risk by entering the surf over the next few days,” Mr Fife said.
“It’s important to remember that anyone who enters the water will not only be risking their lives, but they’ll also be risking the lives of our volunteer members and Council lifeguards as well,” he said.
Meanwhile, surf lifesavers on the Sunshine Coast will be closely monitoring conditions over the next 12 to 24 hours, with a decision to be made early Saturday morning about whether beaches will be opened to the public.