A youth is swept off his feet by a wave at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast on Tuesday evening.
A youth is swept off his feet by a wave at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast on Tuesday evening. Mark Furler

OMA OUCH: Youth swept off feet by surging swell

IT'S the sort of scene that leaves you with your heart in your mouth.

A trio of youth take on the ocean's rising swell at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast as surfers behind them carve up the waves.

One youngster appeared to be doing a chicken dance or perhaps some Fortnite moves as he diced with nature.

Young swimmers knocked down by swell at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast generated by Tropical Cyclone Oma. Picture: Mark Furler
Young swimmers knocked down by swell at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast generated by Tropical Cyclone Oma. Picture: Mark Furler

As the next wave loomed large behind him, he jumped off the rocks into the water below before scurrying back into waist depth water to scramble onto the rocks and do it all over again.

Be careful out there. Picture: Mark Furler
Be careful out there. Picture: Mark Furler

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After a couple of times, he beckons his friends to join him and they follow suit.

One older youth, who doesn't appear so confident on the rocks, later finds himself completely swamped by a huge wave and is literally swept off his feet onto the rocks.

Luckily he's not hurt and scrambles to his feet to jump off the rocks and then repeat the process.

Leap of faith at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast.
Leap of faith at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast.

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Surfers are enjoying the swell from Tropical Cyclone Oma. Picture: Mark Furler
Surfers are enjoying the swell from Tropical Cyclone Oma. Picture: Mark Furler

Fortunately, the three can all swim well but with Cyclone Oma moving towards the Queensland coastline, with even bigger swells predicted, it's a practice that no doubt authorities fear could turn to tragedy - so easily.

Cyclone Oma has been upgraded to a destructive Category 3 system as it continues to bear down on the Queensland coast.

Oma is tracking southwest, with a growing number of predictive models forecasting the cyclone will cross the Queensland coast between Mackay and Fraser Island.

On the Gold Coast, surfers continued to hit the water on Tuesday night even past sundown to make the most of the waves. There were also plenty out checking the huge supermoon rising over Rainbow Bay on the southern end of the Gold Coast.

The cyclone is generating big waves. Picture: Mark Furler
The cyclone is generating big waves. Picture: Mark Furler

But authorities fear a combination of king tides and massive swells could hit the region with its fiercest battering in years.

There are predictions of 200km/h winds and up to 500mm of rain to the state's southeast, but meteorologist Kimba Wong said there were still many different scenarios for how the cyclone will develop.

"It's looking increasingly likely that it will track close to the southeast Queensland coast, (but) it's difficult to say how close it will get at the moment," she said.

Weather forecasters typically use dozens of different software programs to track a cyclone's likely path, with some predicting Oma will about-face and turn northeast back out to the Pacific while other predictive models show it veering south to New Zealand.

BOM has issued a hazardous surf warning for the region stretching from 1770 to the Queensland border with the likelihood of a dangerous surf warning to follow in the days ahead.



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