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Warning and Signage

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Weather Warnings

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) provides a 24-hour forecast and wind warning service for Australian coastal waters.

Warnings are issued and updated for:

  • hazardous surf conditions (wave height and period)

  • strong winds (average 26 to 33 knots, plan for gusts of 36 to 45 knots)

  • gale force winds (average 34 to 47 knots, plan for gusts of 48 to 65 knots)

  • storm force winds (average 48 to 63 knots, plan for gusts of 67 to 88 knots)

  • hurricane force winds (average 64 knots or more, plan for gusts of 90 knots or more).

Note that wind gusts may be up to 40% stronger than the forecast average. 'Significant wave height' means that maximum waves may be up to twice the forecast height.

Before you head out, download the BOM app or visit the BOM website for the latest weather information:

While you're on the water

When you're on the water, check the weather regularly by:

  • listening to your marine radio for Marine Rescue NSW weather warnings broadcast on VHF 16 and 27 MHz 88

  • checking the BOM mobile websitelaunch to monitor the weather and check for new or updated warnings, forecasts, heavy rain and thunderstorms.

You can also call the BOM Weather Warning Service on 1300 132 536launch.

Always keep an eye on the sky and the water. If you see changes – for example, threatening clouds in the sky or whitecaps on the water – make sure everyone is wearing a lifejacket and head for shore.

Weather systems can be deceptive. From a distance they can appear to move slowly, but can change quickly and suddenly. Take extra care when travelling on open waters and alpine waters.

Water Safety Signs

There are three main types of water safety signs you will find when you are around water. Each one has its own meaning, but all of them work to the same system. If you go to the seaside, then there are sometimes special flaks to also look out for.

In addition to the water safety signs, you will also find informationn signs telling you where the toilets are or where you can get first aid. They will also tell you where the public rescue equipment is held.

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