Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is urging beachgoers to put safety first and exercise caution in and around the water over the next 24 to 48 hours, with strong winds and powerful surf likely to create potentially dangerous conditions across South East Queensland.
Council lifeguards have already closed beaches on the Gold Coast today, while SLSQ’s Sunshine Coast lifeguards will be closely monitoring conditions across the day.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast strong SW winds of up to 35 knots on the Sunshine Coast today, along with a southerly swell peaking at 5m. Similar conditions are expected on the Gold Coast, with southerly winds of up to 40 knots expected, with a southerly swell between 3-5m.
The strong winds are expected to continue tomorrow, with southerlies peaking at 30 knots forecast on the Sunshine Coast, with a southerly swell between 2.5-4m. Meanwhile, southerly winds are also forecast on the Gold Coast tomorrow, peaking at 30 knots, with a southerly swell between 2-3m.
SLSQ chief lifeguard Greg Cahill urged anyone heading to the beach for a swim to be extra careful.
“We’re expecting strong winds and powerful swells in South East Queensland, which is likely to create challenging and potentially dangerous coastal conditions,” he said.
“There’s likely to be a large amount of water moving in and around beaches over the next 48 hours which can also lead to flash rip sand strong currents.
“We strongly urge any beachgoers to only enter the water at patrolled locations between the red and yellow flags and, if you’re unsure about the conditions, have a chat to the lifeguards on duty before entering the water,” he said.
Mr Cahill also encouraged surfers to be extra vigilant about their safety.
“The surf conditions and large swell will be extremely challenging and potentially dangerous, for surfers,” he said.
“If you’re not an experienced or confident surfer, we’d encourage you to think twice about entering the water and perhaps wait a few days until the conditions have calmed down.”
SLSQ encourages beachgoers to follow these simple steps to help protect themselves in the water:
- Only swim at patrolled beaches and between the red and yellow flag
- Don’t swim at night or after drinking alcohol
- 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