Fisherman Saved In Kiama Drama

A fisherman is recovering in hospital after a dramatic multi-agency rescue operation took place at Kiama on the state’s South Coast in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The man, a recreational fisherman, aged in his 40s was on the rock platform at Jones Beach when he was washed off the rocks by a wave at around 1:30am.

An alert was sent to 24-hour-staffed emergency response system and it was determined by Police that Surf Life Saving assets were required to assist in the rescue efforts.

The on-call jet rescue boat team, which is crewed by volunteers from Kiama Surf Life Saving Club was activated, and were launching from their harbour base within 15 minutes.

Police and Paramedics who were on-scene were able to establish the man’s position due to the fact he was waving a light source. Fortunately he was also wearing a lifejacket at the time and it was this decision that kept him afloat long enough for help to arrive.

When the lifesavers reached the stranded fisherman’s location they found him about 50 metres offshore and while conscious and breathing, it was clear he was in some distress. He was pulled into the boat and initial first-aid was rendered.

Upon reaching shore Paramedics continued to treat the man with hypothermia a very real concern. An ambulance helicopter from Sydney also arrived to give the man treatment before he was flown to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

At the time of the incident conditions in the area were fairly calm with the swell around the 3 foot mark, although the air temperature was very cold.

NSW State Duty Officer Jimmy Keogh was full of praise for the efforts of everyone involved in the successful rescue.

“This was a fantastic effort and the rapid response was heartening especially because it occurred so early in the morning.

“I am delighted that our volunteers were able to interact so positively with other first responders to ensure that this man was rescued so quickly and in a professional way,” he said.

Mr Keogh also had a message for the state’s recreational fishers.

“Lifejackets save lives – this man had a fighting chance because he was wearing one which in combination with the light helped us locate him quickly. It’s a timely reminder of the importance of this vital piece of lifesaving equipment he said.

General Rock Fishing Safety Tips:

• Check the weather, surf conditions and tides before going fishing
• Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
• Always wear a lifejacket
• Wear appropriate non-slip footwear and light clothing
• Always fish with a friend
• Check the warnings signs for information about the area
• Never turn your back to the water
• Do not try and retrieve anything that has fallen into the water
• Do not jump in if someone falls into the water - wait for assistance or throw an ‘Angel Ring’ or Lifebuoy if there is one nearby • Additionally boaters are urged to always check conditions prior and to log on with their local Marine Rescue Base via radio or using the MarineRescue App. Visit www.mrnsw.com.au for more information
• Call Triple Zero – Police to report an in-water emergency

Sun 4 Jun 2017