Rock Fisherman Drowns

Surf Lifesavers from Port Kembla and Surf Life Saving Duty Officers were on scene at the tragic drowning of a man who was swept from rocks this morning at Hill 60 near Port Kembla in the Illawarra, bringing the NSW coastal drowning total for this season to 35.

The fisherman was retrieved from the water by Port Kembla Water Police and brought back in to Port Kembla Harbour where CPR commenced. Unfortunately CPR attempts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced deceased by NSW Ambulance officers. It appears he was not wearing a lifejacket.

SLSNSW Lifesaving Manager Dean Storey says this is a preventable tragedy which may have been avoided if safety precautions were taken.

“A dangerous surf warning is current and it is reported the man was not wearing a lifejacket, which would have greatly increased his chances of survival.

“A lifejacket is essential and should be worn, even if there appears to be little risk. The ocean is unpredictable and even the most experienced rock fisherman can be caught out,” said Storey.

Storey urged rock fisherman to consistently take the necessary precautions when fishing, particularly as we head into the winter period where rock fishing incidents tend to spike.

“If you only do one thing, make sure you wear a lifejacket,” Storey implores.

Rock Fishing Safety Tips

  • Always wear a lifejacket
  • Check the weather before leaving home
  • Wear light clothing and appropriate footwear
  • Always fish with a group of people
  • If you need help, call Triple Zero (000) Police

A dangerous surf warning for the NSW coastline remains in place until tomorrow. Exposed beaches, rock shelves, headlands and river bar crossings will be extremely hazardous and the public is urged to exercise extreme caution.

Public Safety Messages - During Dangerous Surf Conditions

  • Swim only at patrolled beaches between the red/yellow flags (No flags, No swim)
  • Avoid rock-fishing on the open coastline
  • Inexperienced surfers should avoid surfing
  • Boaties should check their local forecast, seek advice from NSW Maritime and always wear a lifejacket
  • Visit Beachsafe for information on patrolled beaches/times
  • If witnessing an in-water emergency dial 000 – Police

Mon 22 Apr 2013