50 rescued as huge waves batter Australia’s east coast

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Gita earlier hit the islands of Tongatapu and 'Eua as a category four storm, with winds of up to 230km/h.

Due to Tropical Cyclone Gita, which is to hit New Zealand in the next 24 hours, Australian authorities warned of dangerous surf conditions on Monday as massive 4-meter waves continue to smash the east coast of the country.

In total, there were more than 150 people being rescued over the weekend, including a busy period on the Sunshine Coast where 19 people were pulled from the water in just 10 minutes when conditions dramatically turned.

Lifesavers also had to perform a daring helicopter rescue when a man in his 50s was winched to safety after being stuck in dangerous seas for more than two hours.

Despite the treacherous conditions, many local boardriders have failed to heed the warnings, seeing the monster swells as the “perfect time to go surfing.”

“It’s heaps of fun!” 16-year-old Queensland surfer Nathan Hawker told local media.

“I’ve been in the water for three to four hours every day!” he said.

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