Surf is way up on Clarence coast

A SEVERE weather warning is in place, with dangerous surf conditions and abnormally high tides expected along the Northern Rivers coastline over the next few days.

Cyclone Hamish is producing strong winds and waves that may exceed five metres in the surf zone and authorities have warned that significant beach erosion between Yamba and the Queensland border is the likely result.

Elaine Pike was on duty yesterday afternoon at the Iluka Coast Guard tower and said conditions were 'pretty terrible' with rain squalls making visibility difficult.

“There's a big swell of about three to four metres and there's white water right across the bar,” she reported from her high post.

“There's definitely no boats going out or coming out and according to weather reports, conditions could stay the same or get worse in the next 48 hours.”

The Australian Lifeguard Association called for the closure of all patrolled beaches between Yamba and the Queensland border and said it was possible that maximum waves may be more than twice the height forecast (five metres).

Despite warnings, some surfers were revelling in the swell at Turners Beach yesterday.

Simon Young, of Yamba, said that the surf wasn't that big, just sloppy.

The bureau of meteorology yesterday had tropical cyclone Hamish mapped as a category two cyclone travelling in a north-westerly direction off the Queensland coast.

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