Life Saving Victoria (LSV) is urging Victorians to be extra careful in, on and around water tomorrow, Friday 26th April 2019, as large seas are expected.
“We urge extra vigilance when rock fishing during this low storm surge weather event, particularly at high tide or at dusk when visibility may be low,” says Kane Treloar, LSV’s acting operations manager. “People need to beware of unstable edges and to re-think beach plans as tides may fill beaches up to the primary dunes – even wading in the water or walking close to the edge of the water can place people in danger when high tides are present.”
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts large wave heights through western Bass Strait on Friday and into early Saturday, accompanied by gale force, south-westerly winds as the cold front takes away the Indian summer we’ve been experiencing.
“This is likely to result in hazardous ocean conditions and may bring a risk of coastal erosion,” says the Bureau of Meteorology’s Kevin Parkyn. “Sea-level modeling also suggests sea-levels will exceed Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT) during high tides in Port Phillip Bay during Friday.”
Between 8-9m swells are forecast for the coastline between the Victorian border with South Australia and Cape Otway, including the Shipwreck Coast where two lifesavers tragically lost their lives during a rescue mission on Easter Sunday.
“Areas like the Shipwreck Coast get their name for a very, very good reason, especially in weather like this,” says Andrew McKinnon, Parks Victoria’s area chief ranger for the Shipwreck Coast and Hinterland. “We’re therefore likely to close some beaches and to place signage in others as warning as the high tide hits Port Campbell around 3.30pm on Friday.”
“While it might be good news for the professional surfers competing at the Rip Curl Pro Bell’s Beach, anyone else should re-consider heading out on the water tomorrow and Saturday,” says Mr Treloar. “Watch from a safe distance instead.”
Multilingual beach safety resources can be found at beachsafe.org.au/surf-safety/multilingual, including a beach’s hazard rating, or www.watersafety.vic.gov.au for general water safety advice. For advice on rock fishing, please visit: https://www.surflifesaving.com.au/rock-fishing
Download the VicEmergency app or view www.emergency.vic.gov.au for beach closures. Be aware and prepared for conditions by checking the Bureau of Meteorology app or bom.gov.au, for up-to-date conditions and warnings.