Authorities issue warning over viral Sydney Harbour swimming video

Sydney authorities have issued a public warning after a group of women jumped into the harbour in an area where swimming is “not permitted”.

A video showing three women launching themselves into the water at Darling Harbour on a hot day last week sparked concern for a variety of health and safety reasons.

The clip, which has since been deleted, stated those involved had been out drinking at their work Christmas party when the group “suddenly” thought a “quick dip” with their colleagues in the harbour “seemed like a good idea”.

Many viewers were horrified by the antics, stating the water isn’t safe and pointing out the threat of bull sharks.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment have since issued an urgent warning to tourists and locals, stating swimming at the iconic Sydney spot is “not permitted” for a multitude of reasons.

“Swimming is not permitted at Darling Harbour or Cockle Bay as there is a large amount of boat traffic,” the Placemaking NSW spokesperson told

“There are also no distinct swimming areas with shark nets.”

The video, posted to TikTok, had amassed over 300,000 views before it was taken down following an avalanche of concern from Australians.

“Nup, not a chance, the harbour is full of sharks and jellyfish,” one commented.

“It’s not safe to swim in Sydney Habour,” another lamented.

As one pointed out: “It’s bull shark central.”

Others said they were “scared” just watching the video, especially since the women were all fully clothed when they jumped in, labelling the act “crazy”.

“That moment the work Christmas party drinks and suddenly jumping into the harbour for a quick dip with your co-workers seems like a good idea,” the video was captioned.

The three colleagues then proceed to hold hands as they prepare to launch themselves into the water.

One is wearing a floral wrap skirt, while another is wearing a red skirt and black top. The third is wearing a long denim skirt and a white waistcoat.

“Quick little dance and scream to do this jump,” text on the video reads, as the women leap from the dock.

A second video, which has also been removed, showed the women hauling themselves up a ladder with heavy, wet clothes, but with smiles all around.

While authorities have warned against swimming in Cockle Bay, not all of Sydney Harbour is off limits, making advice around where to go for a dip confusing.

Sydney Harbour is one massive stretch of water which measures at around 500 gigalitres in total. It drains coastal rivers and streams, plus storm water from millions of Sydneysiders. This means it gets contaminated by all the waste, dirt, debris, and even sewerage overflow that comes with such a big city.

Placemaking NSW said Sydneysiders and visitors who want to swim should head to approved swimming spots, such as Marrinawi Cove “which is safe and netted”.

“Water quality has been tested at Marrinawi Cove and it is safe for swimming, Darling Harbour has not been tested,” the spokesperson told

“Marrinawi Cove is located at the northern end of Barangaroo Reserve where there is safety netting to enclose the swimming area, signage and shower facilities.

“Swimmers must take care at all times, follow safety signage and use suitable footwear.”

Read related topics:SydneyTikTok

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