Warning of dangerous surf conditions as cold front crosses Illawarra


Center for Maritime Safety - Autumn 2018

The RMS is advising boaters to check the weather conditions

BOAT owners are advised of dangerous surf conditions as a cold front moves across the Illawarra.

Strong westerly winds are expected to impact the Illawarra until Saturday July 13.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts these fronts will produce windy conditions for the second half of the week, particularly in the southeast, and cooler conditions on the weekend with two cold fronts which are expected to move through NSW.

The Road and Maritime Service is reminding boaters to take extra care and be aware of hypothermia during winter months. Boaters need to be aware of:

  • Cold conditions on inland waterways, with snow likely on Saturday 13 July around the alpine waterways in the state’s south and central west
  • Choppy rough conditions on larger, more exposed bays and inlets
  • A marked ‘chill down’ of all inland and sheltered waterways, likely to make water temperatures even colder than normal for this time of year
  • High risk of boats dragging or breaking free of moorings, especially in areas exposed to the South West, West or North West
  • Dangerously rough conditions a short distance offshore, even where the ocean appears calm against the coast.

While conditions are expected to ease by Sunday, there may be an increase in the ocean swell that day, making south-facing ocean bars a challenge for navigation.

Skippers and owners of small crafts should be on high alert and check the conditions before considering crossing a coastal bar or heading offshore.

Rock fishers should also check weather forecasts before heading out, avoid fishing near dangerous surf and wear a lifejacket.

Every skipper is responsible for the safety of their vessel and all on board. Roads and Maritime Services advises skippers to:

Check the official weather forecast before and during boating and ‘if in doubt, don’t go out’

Ensure the boat and its equipment is suitable for the conditions

Ensure the vessel/mooring is secure due to the strong winds

Log on/off with a Marine Rescue NSW marine radio base for every trip offshore

Wear a lifejacket.

For more information, visit:

Offshore boating safety:
Official forecast:
BoM maritime-specific advice:

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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