Big waves to hit coast

Fiji might be a long way away from the Eurobodalla but those who venture into our waters this weekend will feel the presence of tropical cyclone Evan, which has just ravaged the Pacific island nation.

Coastalwatch reports that a long-distance pulse of groundswell from the cyclone will reach our coast today.

The groundswell has been generated by a compact area of gale to storm-force easterly winds sustained across Evan’s southern flank this week.

The water may be the place to be on the weekend, but Far South Coast Surf Life Saving director Andrew Edmunds is urging surfers and swimmers to be careful.

“Starting today there will be a two metre easterly swell with a 12-second swell period, which means a big break between waves,” he said.

“It is deceptive and this is where the danger is. People think the waves have gone and so expect none, and all of a sudden they get hit by a wave.”

This may have begun already, if the experience of Can-berra visitor Rodney Dart – one of the few people swimming at Surf Beach on Wednesday – is any indicator.

“I was out early today and every 10 minutes a big wave would hit and I would think ‘where did that come from?’,’” he said.

Mr Edmunds said that anyone going rock fishing should wear a life jacket, and swimmers and surfers should only go to patrolled beaches.

“We are ramping up our operation tomorrow, and the beaches will be patrolled from 9am to 5pm,” he said.

Tuross Head surfing veteran Greg Woodforde is hoping for, but not necessarily expecting, good surf conditions.

“If groundswell does get here, then hopefully One Tree Point (at Tuross Head) will really work,” he said.

“But the prediction isn’t foolproof.”

Meanwhile, Mr Edmunds said Far South Coast Branch lifesavers were gearing up for the busiest period of the year, that between Christmas and New Year.

“The weather forecast says conditions will be good, and of the 200 rescues the branch carried out last season, 30 were in this period,” he said.

WAVES COMING: Canberra visitors Jenny Dunn and Rodney Dart contemplate getting into the waves at Surf Beach on Wednesday. If predictions are correct, the waves will be much bigger on the weekend.

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