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The body of a rock fisherman has been found at Crescent Head on the NSW Mid North Coast after an extensive search.​ ​

Surf lifesavers and emergency services retrieved the body of a man in his 30s just after midday today.

A local rock fisher notified Police after locating unattended fishing gear and a mobile phone on a rock shelf.

The emergency services commenced the search at 4pm on Thursday 16 May with the assistance of Surf Life Saving Mid North Coast Support Operations and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter. Fading light restricted the search on Thursday evening to land and air only.

The search resumed at first light on Friday morning with a number of lifesaving assets including two Kempsey Crescent Head SLSC IRBs (Inflatable Rescue Boats), a Jetski as well as a Surf Rescue drone, Police divers and SMAR swimmers and Polair.

SLSNSW Support Operations conducted a dye release into the water to identify current speed and directional movements to narrow their search area.

It is not yet clear whether the man was wearing a lifejacket.

SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce said, “This search shows the efficiency and dedication of our volunteers in the offseason. Despite our best efforts, the outcome is not what we hoped. Our thoughts are with the man’s family at this tragic time.”

Since 1 July 2018, 37 people have drowned on the NSW coastline.

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 Marine Rescue App. Visit for more information

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


Friday 17 May 2019