Sydney, June 10: A wave measuring more than 17 meters in height has smashed the existing NSW record, during the devastating coastal storms over the last week.

Strong winds from the intense low pressure cell created the monster 17.7 meter wave, which was recorded off the south coast near Eden at 4.30am on Monday, 6 June.

The wave easily eclipsed the previous record set in April 2015, when Sydney’s WaveRider buoy recorded a 14.9 meter wave – the largest since measurements began in the early 1970s.

For the past five decades WaveRider buoys operated by Manly Hydraulics Laboratory have been collecting wave data several kilometers offshore in Sydney, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour, Crowdy Head, Port Kembla, Batemans Bay and Eden.

The current network of seven buoys sends data by radio to nearby onshore recording stations with information about the height, energy, direction and length of time between waves.

Throughout the storms the Manly Hydraulics Laboratory was able to provide local councils and other State emergency agencies with reliable and site specific nearshore wave conditions and expected coastal hazards along the entire NSW coast exacerbated by coinciding king tides and heavy rainfall.

This was achieved through the new State Wide Nearshore Wave Transformation Toolkit that has become a popular daily resource for surfers, divers, mariners and fishermen, as well as for community and commercial purposes including marine and transport operations, tourism and lifesaving.

Over the past week the toolkit has proved an invaluable resource, with essential and near real-time information transmitted to the laboratory’s coastal storm database.

Manly Hydraulics Laboratory is now working with other agencies re-analysing this database with plans to further update the design of wave climate information to support the State Government’s new Coastal Management Act 2016.

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