Rock Fisherman Drowns In Tathra Accident

A man has drowned and four others have been rescued after being washed off the rocks while fishing at Tathra on the state’s Far South Coast on Saturday.

The group were fishing on a rock platform to the south of Tathra Headland a known spot for local anglers when they were washed off the rocks by a wave shortly before 1pm.

Initial reports to the State Operations Centre were that one person had been washed into the ocean but it was later confirmed that this number was in fact five people.

Surf Life Saving assets including the Westpac Life Saver Helicopter based out of Broulee, volunteer surf lifesavers from Tathra SLSC in two Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRB), and a Far South Coast Duty Officer were all tasked to attend the scene.

Police, Paramedics and the South Care Helicopter were also involved in the multi-agency operation.

Two of those washed into the water were able to scramble back onto the rocks, with the remaining three pulled out of the water by the crew of the IRB'S.

As of result of being immersed in the water CPR was required on two of those rescued with the volunteer lifesavers commencing treatment as soon as they pulled them in.

While one of the men responded well to this treatment, unfortunately the other man believed to be in his 50 was unable to be revived.

Conditions at the time of the incident are understood to be choppy with strong winds and wave sets of between 2-3 metes reported by local lifesavers.

A dangerous surf warning for deceptively powerful surf was issued yesterday and will remain in place for at least the remainder of Saturday.

Neither the deceased man or the other man requiring CPR were wearing a lifejacket at the time they were washed into the water, while their colleague who was pulled from the water uninjured did have one on.

After being assessed by Paramedics two of the patients were later transported to hospital for further treatment.

The lifesavers involved will participate in a critical debrief as per standard operating procedures, and a report will also be prepared for the NSW Coroner.

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 for more information
• Call Triple Zero – Police to report an in-water emergency

Sat 21 Jan 2017