Rockfisherman Missing at Seal Rocks

Two men have had a lucky escape after they were washed into the sea while rockfishing at Seal Rocks on the NSW Lower North Coast. A search continues for a third person still missing.

The group of five anglers was rockfishing when three of them were swept into the water. One man was rescued by a volunteer surf lifesaver from Pacific Palms Surf Life Saving Club using a jetski, while the second man was winched to safety by the Hunter Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The search continues by Surf Life Saving callout volunteers, along with Water Police and Marine Rescue NSW. It appears the men were not wearing lifejackets.

Surf Life Saving NSW Lifesaving Manager Andy Kent says this could be yet another rockfishing tragedy, after a spate of incidents over the last few weeks.

"Two people are lucky to be alive thanks to our emergency callout volunteers and our efforts are now focused on finding the missing man," said Andy Kent.

Hazardous surf conditions are present across much of the NSW coast and Surf Life Saving NSW urges people to follow basic safety precautions at all times while rockfishing.

These include:

  • Always wear a lifejacket and non-slip footwear
  • Check tides, swell and weather conditions
  • Fish with a friend – never fish alone
  • Carry a mobile phone
  • Never turn your back to the sea
  • Always spend time watching the conditions before fishing, and constantly scan for changing conditions
  • If in doubt, don’t go out!

Wed 7 May 2014