Bondi

Paramedics at the cliff fall. Photo: James Alcock

Sydney lifeguards are facing their toughest conditions in years, with mass rescues and huge spikes in the number of people needing help as holidaying Sydneysiders flock to the beach.

On Saturday, lifeguards joined police and paramedics in the dramatic rescue of a man who fell five metres down a cliff at the northern tip of Bondi Beach.

At about 2.15pm, paramedics were called to Ben Buckler Point, located at the northern tip of Bondi Beach, where local bodybuilding celebrity, Dimitri Maskovich, 48, fell while climbing a rope.

Bondi

On full alert: Swimmers at Bronte on Saturday. Photo: Daniel Shaw

Suffering serious leg injuries and suspected fractures, he was delicately winched back up to the road side and transported to St Vincent's Hospital, where he is in a serious but stable condition.

In the first week of January, Waverley Council lifeguards have performed a total of 160 rescues at Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte beaches, more than four times the number normally performed. On January 4 alone, lifeguards pulled 70 people from the water, including 40 in one rescue operation at Bondi.

Waverley lifeguards said about 38 rescues are performed in an average week, with 2000 during a busy year. A spokesman said 70 rescues in one day was extraordinary. ''This hasn't happened for several years,'' he said.

Bondi Beach lifeguard Nicola Atherton, one of the first respondents to the mass rescue, said the swimmers involved became trapped in a rip ''and went all in one go''.

''I was rescuing locals who were quite embarrassed about being stuck in it,'' she said.

Ms Atherton, 27, believed Sydney's ''exceptional summer'', in which many people are heading to the beach, was part of the reason behind the recent spike in rescues.

A ''sandbank situation'' at Bondi was also a contributing factor.

''So instead of having a couple of major rips on the beach that we mark heavily and keep an eye out for, we're getting maybe eight to 10 rips throughout the day sometimes,'' she said. ''Combine that with some of the extreme tides and it just creates some pretty dangerous conditions at times.''

People who do not listen or tourists who do not understand signs were also a factor, she said.

''You do sometimes feel like a bit of a parrot on repeat,'' Ms Atherton said of relaying safety messages.

Until last November, when a 22-year-old Japanese student drowned, Bondi had not had a death for about eight years.

Sydneysiders can expect another hot day today after Penrith residents sweltered in 40.8 degrees and beachgoers in Bondi enjoyed a top temperature of 28 degrees yesterday.

Today Sydney is predicted to have top temperatures of 30 degrees in Bondi and 33 degrees in the West.

The increasing cloud cover and some late showers are expected to lower temperatures for the entire Sydney basin by Monday morning.