IT WAS a dramatic day for lifesavers on the Gold Coast today, as thousands of people flocked to the beaches to try and escape the scorching heat.
The mercury soared to an official 33 degrees on the Gold Coast beaches before midday, with a ‘feels like’ temperature of 36 degrees.
Residents in the city’s inland suburbs sweltered as temperatures soared above 40 degrees for the second day.
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A cooler southerly wind change moved through the area shortly before 5pm and has since dropped temperatures by around 10 degrees.
At 6.45pm, the temperature at the Gold Coast Seaway was sitting at around 24 degrees.
Overnight lows of 22 degrees are expected on the Gold Coast tonight, making for an easier nights sleep following last night’s reckless overnight low of 27 degrees.
Today’s southerly wind change played havoc on our beaches, sparking a massive rescue operation at Burleigh Heads where six people were pulled from the surf in a space of just 10 minutes.
Shortly before the southerly arrived, lifesavers had repositioned the red and yellow flags to keep swimmers away from a developing rip. But the rip became too strong, too fast.
Lifesavers were literally left with no choice but to chose who to save first. The rescue helicopter was called in to assist as more swimmers were sucked outside the flags.
A 16-year-old boy who swallowed seawater told Channel Seven he feared he would drown while he waited for help. “I thought I was gone for sure,” he said.
A 13-year-old boy was also rushed to hospital earlier in the afternoon after he was dumped by a wave in rough conditions.
Forecasters are predicting a slightly cooler day tomorrow, with daytime maximums expected to remain between 30 and 33 degrees.
Cloudy conditions and isolated showers are likely. The slight chance of isolated thunderstorms also exists in the afternoon, mostly inland.
It will become hot again on Monday, but not as hot as what we have recently experienced.
A partly cloudy day with scattered showers and thunderstorms is forecast. Top temperatures between 32 and 36 degrees.
A much cooler change will move through the area on Tuesday, bringing top temperatures of 28 degrees to Surfers Paradise.