Hunter swell sparks warnings to Hunter swimmers, skippers to steer clear

SKIPPERS and swimmers have been warned off the Hunter’s coastal waters as dangerous conditions prevail. 

The Bureau of Meteorology warns that hazardous surf will batter most of NSW until at least Tuesday.

Water police have also recommended people stay out of the water and avoid walking near surf-exposed areas, with seas of two to three metres forecast. 

North of Port Stephens they are increasing to between three and four metres offshore, the Bureau reports. 

Roads and Maritime Services warned boaters that dangerous surf conditions would run into Tuesday, urging them to change or delay their voyage instead of crossing a coastal bar or heading offshore. 

“Rock fishers should avoid coastal rock platforms exposed to the ocean and seek a safe location sheltered from the surf,” the government body said in a statement. 

“Strong winds can also cause damage to vessels on moorings which have been poorly maintained.”

Boaters are urged to check their boats and equipment, log on and off with Marine Rescue NSW via radio or smartphone app, wear lifejackets and check the forecast before heading out. 

Patrolled beaches Nobbys, Bar and Merewether were all shut due to the large swells, alongside Newcastle Ocean Baths. 

“It is likely they will remain closed into tomorrow,” the council said.

“The Ocean Baths may reopen later today once the tide goes out, but [this is] not certain.”