It will be a swell weekend

IF you’ve pulled out the surfboard in the hope of catching some swell thanks to Tropical Cyclone Ului this weekend – don’t get too excited.

According to the Bureau of Meterology, Cyclone Ului is scheduled to touch down on Proserpine in Queensland today and the effects on the Coffs Coast are forecast to be minimal.

“The Mid North Coast will experience some swell increase but less significant than expected,” duty forecaster Dimitriy Dah Chuk said.

“You should be seeing increases from two to two and a half metres up to two and a half or three metres but we do stress it’s not anything major.”

Coffs Harbour City Council Lifeguard co-ordinator Greg Hackfath said we could see open beaches like North Beach and Urunga close and people need to make sure they listen to advice from lifeguards.

“We are expecting a bigger swell and we’ll be assessing it as it comes,” Mr Hackfath said.

“People on the beach this weekend need to be guided by lifeguards and lifesavers, stay in close and don’t do anything beyond your capabilities.

“Surfers need to surf in groups, don’t go out alone.

“At least there will be someone there who can render assistance if you get into trouble.”

He said bigger waves mean bigger rips and people often get into trouble.

“No flag, no swim,” he said.

A 19-year-old national titleholding surfer has died after being hit by his own ski while competing in rough conditions off the Gold Coast.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate Australian Surf Life Saving Championships competitor Saxon Bird on Kurrawa Beach and continued CPR while he was transported to Gold Coast Hospital by ambulance. But he died in hospital yesterday afternoon, officials said.

The teenager’s surf ski washed onto the beach around 11.30am during the under-19 ironman event.

After an air and sea search of a one kilometre section of the beach Bird was located by a fellow life saver less than an hour later.

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