Waving goodbye to 2007

COAST Coast residents and holidaymakers are being asked to use their common sense and stay safe as dangerous surf conditions are expected to continue into the new year.

Surfers, walkers and onlookers crowded local beaches yesterday hoping to catch sight of big waves rolling ashore, with an intense low pressure system off central Queensland generating four metre swells.

By yesterday afternoon the majority of beaches between Red Rock and Nambucca were closed, with Park Beach remaining open only to waist deep.

A spokesperson from the Australian Lifeguard Service said waves would increase in size over the next 24 hours and that there were many powerful, fast-moving rips.

While the high surf drew daredevils to the waves and big crowds to watch the spectacle also brought police and paramedics to Coffs Harbour's northern breakwall.

A 20-year-old male slammed by a crashing wave was treated by ambulance officers at the scene before being taken to Coffs Harbour Hospital with a possible fractured leg; and police moved crowds off the breakwall after barracdes put up by the Coffs Harbour City Council were ignored.

The Coffs Harbour Ambulance Service and Australian Lifeguard Service are urging people to take extra care during the dangerous conditions.

People are advised to not swim at unpatrolled beaches, follow any directions issued by lifeguards, tell someone if going out on a boat, keep small children and pets away from the edge of the water and to stay away from rock ledges.

The weather bureau have today continued to issue a strong weather warning for the Mid North Coast, with South East winds forecasted to reach 25-35 knots.

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