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An alert golfer has helped save the life of a rock fisherman at North Bondi this morning after he called for help when he spotted the lone figure tumble into the sea at the iconic Sydney beach.

It is understood that the fisherman was climbing down onto the rock platform directly below the local golf course just after 7am on Tuesday when he slipped and fell into the ocean.

In what quickly became a multi-agency effort, the member of the public who witnessed the incident called the police.

Reports soon made their way to the State Operations Centre on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and lifeguards from Waverly Council were subsequently tasked to attend the scene on Jet Ski.

A short time later the man was pulled out of the water and transported to shore where he was assessed by paramedics.

Apart from suffering from cold as a result of his 15 minute ordeal he was given a clean-bill of health.

It was a fortunate decision that the fisherman chose to wear a lifejacket as he made his way to the rock platform as without it the result could have been very different.

At the time of the incident there was a moderate swell at North Bondi but the powerful current very quickly carried him several hundred metres offshore.

This morning’s near-miss highlights the challenges faced by rock fishers particularly when getting on and off exposed rock platforms.

Since August 2015 there have been 25 coastal drownings attributed directly to rock fishing, largely as a result of people either slipping off exposed locations or being washed into the sea.

Sadly this season there have been 7 rock fishing fatalities.

Anyone contemplating a visit to the beach today is reminded that hazardous surf warning remains in place for the coastline between Sydney and Byron Bay.

Swells peaking between 2 to 3 metres are forecast in some areas with southern facing beaches likely to experience the worst of the conditions.

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 or more information

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


Tuesday 15 May 2018