Dangerous seas keep rescuers on alert

By MURRAY SIMPSON

TREACHEROUS seas whipped up by Cyclone Wati continued to batter the Tweed and Gold Coasts yesterday, forcing the closure of many beaches.

Early yesterday the Volunteer Marine Rescue at Point Danger recorded swells averaging 2.83 metres peaking at 5.85 metres.

"It's like a washing machine outside," said spokesman John McGovern.

"There's heavy seas breaking on Nine Mile Reef, the Mudhole and Fido Reef."

Late yesterday Cyclone Wati was located 500km north of Lord Howe Island and conditions were easing.

But big waves continued to pound Gold Coast and Tweed beaches throughout the day.

Burleigh and Currumbin were among the spots where surfers enjoyed great rides.

Inshore conditions remained dangerous.

Rainbow Bay beach had to be closed shortly after noon yesterday when a strong sweep developed.

Surf Life Saving Queensland reported eight to nine beaches closed by mid afternoon due to heavy surf and strong rips.

"Most of the southern beaches were closed as well as Mermaid and Miami," a Surf Life Saving Queensland spokesman said.

On Saturday two people had to be rescued at North Kirra.

One person was assisted ashore after swallowing a lot of water while a 25-year-old surfer had to be brought in by jet ski when the surf proved bigger than he expected.

And at Currumbin Creek entrance two wind surfers had to be helped ashore.



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