Surfers, riders injured in huge Sunshine Coast surf
SURFERS and board riders have defied closed beach signs on the Sunshine Coast to tackle massive waves that have resulted in scores of injuries.
At Mooloolaba Spit, a lifeguard repeatedly pleaded with people to get out of the water, saying the conditions were just too dangerous.
"I don't know how many times I have to say this,'' she was heard saying over the PA.
"We have had so many injuries today.''
The warning came as lifesavers treated another suspected spinal case just down the beach.
At the far end of the beach, a lifesaving carnival continued, despite the big surf.
Surfers and boogie board riders took some incredible risks.
One surfer even stood up on this board and dived heard first into the wave doing a sommersault as it crashed down.
Had it been on low tide, he could have easily broken his neck.
Other board riders were doing barrel rolls in huge dumping waves, again apparently oblivious to the risk of serious spinal injuries.
The safest place to be was on the beach watching the riders - or way out the back where there were some great waves with fewer risks.
Some of the lucky ones were watching some of the longest rides seen on the Coast.
Wild surf whipped up by ex-Tropical Cyclone Winston has inflicted dislocated shoulders, broken bones and other serious injuries, leading to the closure of all Gold Coast and some Sunshine Coast beaches.
Lifesavers treated a suspected spinal injury at Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast this afternoon, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) tweeted.
On the Gold Coast a woman broke her leg in the surf at Main Beach on Friday.
Sunshine Coast lifeguards recorded six dislocated shoulders, seven back- and neck-related injuries, and a fractured leg, Nine News reported.
With waves of up six metres high continued to pound the coast today, SLSQ announced that Gold Coast beaches will remain closed on Sunday.
All Sunshine Coast beaches bar Noosa, Coolum and Bribie were closed today, and SLSQ is yet to decide which will be closed tomorrow.
Earlier: HUGE crowds have flocked to vantage points along the Sunshine Coast to watch giant sets of waves roll in.
The swell, generated by Tropical Cyclone Winston, has forced the closure of a number of beaches but it isn't stopping the brave and foolhardy from trying their luck.
Close to 150 surfers hit the water at Noosa's Boiling Pot this morning, with police reporting a traffic bottleneck around Hastings St.
It is much the same story along the coast, with Alexandra Headland proving popular and even normally sedate Mooloolaba Beach providing good surfing conditions south of the surf club.
Mooloolaba's infamous dumping break is turning on a show, only much larger than usual and even lifesavers in their IRB are struggling to handle the conditions.
There have been no serious injuries reported, although Surf Life Saving Queensland's Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service was called in to winch a man from the Rocks at Granite Bay late Friday after he suffered severe lacerations to his Achilles in a fall.
The helicopter was called in after lifeguards were unable to safely retrieve the man from the rocks.
He was winched to QAS officers on the ground and taken to hospital.
The helicopter service has boosted its patrols along the coastline this weekend, as rough surf and dangerous conditions continue.