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An early morning fishing trip at Kurnell in Sydney’s South would have likely ended in disaster on Thursday had a rock fisherman not been wearing a lifejacket.

The fisherman was at Potter Point, a popular local spot, when he got into difficulty shortly after 8am.

At the time surf conditions were calm and there were a number of other anglers at the location.

Water Police, Paramedics, and Lifeguards from Sutherland Shire Council all rushed to the scene, while the lifejacket kept the man afloat until emergency services arrived.

Approximately half an hour later he was plucked from the water by Police before being treated for suspected hypothermia.

He is expected to make a full recovery.

Since July there have been five rock fishing fatalities with the most recent one in January. This followed on from the eight recorded coastal deaths in 2016/17.

NSW Lifesaving Manager Matt du Plessis said today’s close call is a timely reminder of the importance of lifejackets when fishing, particularly with Easter and the School Holiday period looming.

“Fishing in autumn is a very popular pastime. When the fish are biting it’s understandable that people want to be where the action is, however as today’s incident has demonstrated, it is so important for people to wear a lifejacket.

“This man is alive because he made a good decision and we want to encourage all rock fishers to be safe and follow the safety advice of fishing with a friend, wearing the correct gear, and being aware of changing conditions and tides,” Mr du Plessis said.

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 for more information

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


Thursday 15 March 2018