Shark nets have been removed from beaches across the Gold Coast due to the intensifying wild weather brought on by Tropical Cyclone Seth.
The category two system is sitting in waters in northern Queensland but will track south over the coming days towards the Gold Coast.
While it won’t directly impact the coastline, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned of gale force winds, hazardous surfing and dangerously high tides, particularly on Sunday.
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As a result, Fisheries Queensland has decided to temporarily remove all shark control program equipment.
“A significant weather event is predicted to affect Gold Coast beaches late Sunday into early next week with winds predicted to be in excess of 35 knots, with 4.5 metres of swell,” Shark Control Program Operations Coordinator Sam Fary said.
“Nets have been removed from Gold Coast beaches, however drumlines will remain in the water.
“We will keep a close eye on the weather and teams are ready to respond to re-install the gear, or check gear that couldn’t be removed, when the weather conditions allow.”
Mr Fary said temporarily removing the equipment was also a public safety issue.
“High seas can cause some equipment to come adrift, and loose shark control equipment can be a danger to swimmers and boats,” Mr Fary said.
“Anyone who sees any unsecured shark control equipment including ropes, netting or buoys, should call the Shark Control Program Hotline on 1800 806 891.
“Swimmers are also advised to follow safe swimming practices, including swimming between the flags and not swimming at dusk or dawn, particularly with the shark control equipment out of action temporarily.
“In rough conditions, it’s important people take advice from lifesavers and lifeguards as to whether they should go into the water.”