Paul Braven

Patrols to start in time for holidays

WEATHER: After a few days of quite warm temperatures, it looks like as per normal, we are going to see a cool and windy change move into our region during today. Showers will become increasing likely throughout today and tomorrow due to the strong onshore wind change, but hopefully these will only be scattered and short-lived. The prevailing NW winds will shift more from the S/SE through this morning at around 15-25 knots before intensifying through this afternoon up to 30 knots. The conditions will persist into tomorrow as the S/SE winds continue at around 20-30 knots before they start to gradually decrease through Sunday at around 15-20 knots from the S/SE.

SWIMMING: Swimming conditions will be very choppy and messy this weekend - especially on the open and exposed beaches thanks to strong SE winds. The choppy conditions will be joined by strong side currents pushing along the open beaches from right to left, with rips likely to form during the outgoing stage of the tide - especially if the wave heights increase. My recommendation for swimmers would be to hit the beaches in the very early mornings while the winds are at their lightest, or around mid- to late-morning in order to coincide with the high-tide times. Beaches such as Agnes Water, Nielson Park and Moore Park will offer the most protection from the prevailing winds but even some of these beaches will start to get quite wind affected. Please swim only at patrolled beaches, during patrol times and always between the red and yellow flags - remember, if we can't see you, we can't save you.

BEACH PATROLS: Today - 9am-5pm at Agnes Water only

Tomorrow and Sunday - 9am-5pm at Elliott Heads, Kellys Beach, Nielson Park, Mon Repos, Oaks Beach, Moore Park and Agnes Water plus a roving lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg region

Weekdays (from next week) - 9am-5pm at Elliott Heads, Kellys Beach, Nielson Park, Mon Repos, Oaks Beach, Moore Park and Agnes Water plus a roving lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg region

SURFING: With the SE winds expected to get very gusty through today and tomorrow, local surfers can certainly expect to see some sort of increase in wave heights on our local beaches over the next 24 hours. While the wave quality will not be great due to the choppy and messy conditions expected, we should see plenty of fun-sized but wind affected waves across most local beaches this weekend. Agnes Water is certainly shaping up as the most promising location, particularly around the headland, but beaches such as Nielson Park, Mon Repos and Moore Park should also be worth some thought. Expect wind affected conditions, but if keen, hit the beaches from mid to late morning for best results. Good luck.

EVENTS: The 2015 SLSQ Secondary School Surf League (Wide Bay) will be held Today at Elliott Heads' main beach with about 200 high school students from 12 secondary schools battling it out when competition starts at 9am. The 2015-16 Surf Life Saving Season kicks off tomorrow with resumption of volunteer beach patrols across Queensland. Throughout the two-week school holiday period, local beaches will be patrolled seven-days a week by a combination of lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers.



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