The region’s surf lifesavers are preparing for a busy week ahead, with soaring temperatures set to have Hunter residents flocking to the beach.
While most beaches reported a quiet Christmas Day when it came to rescues, one Hunter beach was “run of its feet”.
At Catherine Hill Bay on Christmas Day, lifesavers recorded 17 of the 160 rescues performed around the state.
A further 13 rescues were performed at Birubi Beach in Port Stephens.
A spokeswoman from Surf Life Saving NSW said there were incidents at other beaches in the region, however, the numbers were “negligible” compared to Catherine Hill Bay and Birubi surf lifesaving clubs.
Hunter Surf Life Saving president Henry Scruton said volunteers at Catherine Hill Bay “were run off their feet”.
“Because it’s Christmas time people were coming with their new boogie boards. They wanted to get their Christmas presents wet. It was a perfect day to go to the beach,” he said.
“A lot of people come to the beach from down south, it’s a beautiful beach.”
Rough surf contributed to the elevated number of rescues.
“It was a bit of both. The beach was closed at one stage. I think people think they’ve travelled this far, they’ll go for a swim no matter what,” he said.
Patrol captain Paul Drake said Wednesday was even busier for “Catho” beach, but he had not heard of any further incidents in the surf.
“Catherine Hill Bay gets busy with the holiday season. There’s close to 300 or 400 people here today, compared to 50 on a normal day,” Mr Drake said.
Mr Scruton, who was monitoring Newcastle’s coastline on jet ski on Wednesday morning, said he expected it to be a big week for surf lifesavers.
“The beaches are very packed, so we are keeping an eye out,” he said.
“Please don’t go beyond your ability, swim with a friend and if you are in trouble wave your hand.”
Temperatures in Newcastle are expected to reach a maximum of 33-34 degrees each day for the rest of the week with no rain in sight until New Year's Day.
Further inland in the city’s suburbs, Wallsend is expected to reach 35 degrees on Thursday and 37 degrees on Friday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
In the Hunter Valley, a regional high of 39 degrees is expected at Scone on Thursday. Similar temperatures will be felt across much of the Upper Hunter for the next few days.
Maitland is tipped to reach a high of 37 degrees on Thursday, before rising to 39 degrees on Friday and throughout the weekend.
The Rural Fire Service has listed a 'Very High' fire danger rating for Thursday.
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