NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) and Surf Life Saving NSW are urging the public to continue staying clear of beaches due to ongoing hazardous surf conditions.
Following the volcanic eruption in the Tongan Islands last night (Saturday 15 January), the Bureau of Meteorology issued a Marine Tsunami Warning for the NSW Coast. This warning was to highlight the potential for dangerous rips and waves, strong ocean currents and some localised overflow onto the foreshore.
Surf Life Saving NSW has observed these conditions throughout the day, and as a result, beaches will remain closed. Beaches will then be assessed tomorrow by local councils and Surf Life Saving NSW to determine if they will be safe to open again.
NSW SES Assistant Commissioner, Sean Kearns, said the public must stay clear of the water.
“The surf conditions will likely remain hazardous well into tomorrow,” Mr Kearns said.
“There is also a chance we could experience severe weather this afternoon, which could only add further dangers,” he said.
Surf Life Saving NSW Director of Lifesaving, Joel Wiseman agreed, saying it was important the public was aware of the dangers the conditions posed.
“Surf Life Saving NSW’s position is always for the benefit and safety of the public, and while we have remained proactive and operational despite flags being down during the course of the Marine Tsunami Warning, we hope that potential beachgoers understand the risks associated with the hazardous surf conditions,” he said.
“As an organisation, we are rescue ready and have Support Operations actively working across the state to ensure optimal safety on our coastlines, but we still encourage anyone planning to head to the beach this afternoon and into the evening to reconsider.”