Dangerous surf warning for NSW

Boaties are warned to stay ashore following wild weather forecast.

An official alert has been issued following warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and NSW State Emergency Services (SES) about damaging winds, surf and high tides for those in the Sydney, South Coast, Illawarra, Hunter and mid-North Coast areas from this afternoon.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) general manager maritime operations, Trevor Williams, said skippers and owners of small craft especially should be on high alert and to postpone any non-essential boating.

"The BoM has issued a severe weather warning. Very heavy surf is being forecast to move northwards through NSW, especially on south-facing beaches," Mr Williams said.

"The SES is also warning that damaging winds combined with spring tides are likely to produce near-record water levels along the NSW coast. Low-lying areas as well as coastal creeks and rivers may experience flooding with the high tide from 9pm tonight."

Mr Williams said strong and gale force winds often led boats to break free from their moorings.

"It is a condition of all mooring licences that moorings and mooring tackle is serviced annually for this exact reason. If a boat breaks free from its mooring, the owner can be liable to any damage that it causes to other craft," he said.

However, boat owners will need to use their own judgment as it is most often too late for these checks to be made once the weather turns bad.

Mr Williams said rock fishing and crossing coastal bars especially should be delayed until the weather eased.

Visit www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/webcams/web-cam.html for live webcam of bar crossings, and www.bom.gov.au/nsw for official forecasts.


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