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At 11.20am on Saturday 21 September, an inexperienced kitesurfer was reported missing at Silver Beach, Kurnell. The man had last been seen heading out into Botany Bay at 7.30am but hours later had not returned.

When the man didn't report for work at 11am and his car was still in the beach carpark, the alarm was raised by a concerned friend and NSW Police were notified.

The Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre began coordinating a search and rescue operation with the Sydney Branch Rescue Coordinator.

Several assets, including an Offshore Rescue Boat, Sutherland Shire Council Lifeguard jetskis and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter were tasked to search for the missing man.

After an extensive search of Botany Bay, the man was located by the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter, floating in the water and clinging to his kite board for buoyancy. He was approximately two kilometres from Silver Beach, where he had first entered the water.

While the helicopter remained overhead, the man was rescued by jetski and returned to Silver Beach where he received first aid treatment by SLSNSW Duty Officers Jackson Towns and James Caterson. He was also treated for mild hypothermia.

Rescue Coordinator for Sydney Branch, Matt Spooner, said that it was a significant collaborative rescue operation.

"Thanks to the coordinated response of Surf Life Saving NSW and the Sutherland Shire Lifeguards, there was a good outcome. Without our assistance, the man's injuries would have been more severe and may have resulted in a worse outcome," said Matt Spooner.

"Quite simply it was the man's inexperience that got him into trouble in the high-wind conditions. But it was thanks to his quick-thinking friends who raised the alarm and contacted Triple Zero that he's now safe and well," Matt Spooner concluded.

Between 1 July 2018  and 30 June 2019 there were 44 coastal drowning deaths recorded in NSW, a 22% increase on the previous year.


Saturday 21 September 2019