Surf lifesaving. (AAP Image/Sue Graham)
Surf lifesaving. (AAP Image/Sue Graham)

Dramatic beach rescues ahead of ‘heatwave’

IT'S been a day of high drama for surf lifesavers, who have been kept busy with a number of rescues as rough conditions continue after days of wild conditions.

It comes before an expected hot spell, with temperatures expected to soar into the late 30s and even pass 40C in some regions.

Queensland Ambulance reports that two people were pulled from the water today after becoming caught in a rip off Snapper Rocks Rd at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast.

A Queensland Ambulance spokeswoman said a male patient in his late teens or early 20s, and another patient whose details were not disclosed, were being assessed by crews, but were conscious and breathing.

It follows a number of rescues on beaches earlier today and yesterday, as ferocious swells from the remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Owen and a low pressure system crash ashore.

Surf Life Saving Queensland said seven swimmers were rescued at Noosa today and as well as two teenage male bodyboarders who were caught in a rip at King's Beach on the Sunshine Coast.

Surf Lifesaving Queensland said 18,427 "preventative actions" were taken by crews on the state's beaches yesterday, 25 rescues and 48 first aid treatments.

Rescues yesterday included 13 people being rescued at Noosa alone and a dramatic rescue by schoolgirls after a family became troubled in waters at Moffat Beach on the Sunshine Coast.

Currimundi and Wurtulla beaches remain closed on the Sunshine Coast today, while several waterways in the state's north are closed including Balgal Beach, Clifton Beach, Etty Bay, Forrest Beach, Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island, Kewarra Beach, Mission Beach, Pallarenda, The Strand at Townsville and Yorkeys Knob.

It comes as ex-Tropical Cyclone Owen has been dubbed "the tropical cyclone that will not leave Australia alone" as it continues to linger off the coast of Queensland.

The former cyclone and its flooding rain put the town of Halifax on the map on Sunday, after it broke the national record for December's wettest day dumping 681mm in 24 hours.

"No location in Australia has ever recorded more rainfall in a day in December. Now that's wet!" the Bureau of Meteorology said via Twitter yesterday.

There is no more threat from the "zombie cyclone", with chances of the system re-intensifying a third time now rated as "very low".

"Owen has stalled, this is the tropical cyclone that will not leave Australia alone," Sky News Weather channel meteorologist Tom Saunders said.

"It's forecast to drift back north again and as a result the heaviest falls will migrate back to northern parts of Queensland."


Queensland is in for a shockingly hot week with temperatures soaring into the late 30s and early 40s by the end of the week.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman today said the heatwave is expected to hit the southeast region by tomorrow as it moves eastwards towards the coast.

"Friday is going to be a big day for southeast Queensland. Ipswich will see 41 degrees, Brisbane 37 or possibly higher, and Gatton with 38 degrees," he said

Birdsville will experience the highest temperature in the state, soaring in at 46C tomorrow, with inland Queensland expected to reach severe intensity heatwave conditions.

The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are forecast to experience their hottest day of the week tomorrow at 28 degrees and 27 degrees respectively, considerably lower than the northern regions.

Northwest Queensland and Kimberley are expected to reach 'extreme intensity' in the heatwave, while northern NSW will have slightly eased conditions.