Beautiful, powerful and precarious
Like the rest of the east coast of the country, Mangawhai’s shoreline was the site of captivating surf on February 11. Caused by a tropical cyclone circling out in the north-eastern Pacific, the thundering waves, some up to four metres, proved irresistible to surfers and a number of swimmers wanting to cool off after a sweltering day.
However Surf Life Saving New Zealand urged people to be extremely careful about the swell on eastern beaches and especially vigilant of the large ‘sweeper waves’ which can hit beaches fast, sweeping right up to the sand dunes. Powered by two swells from different weather systems and combined with a high tide, the waves form into one and become a powerful force when surging back into the sea. The swells also have the potential to be life-threatening as they are known to sweep unsuspecting people off their feet, carrying them swiftly into deep water.
- REPORTING/PHOTO/Julia Wade