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Police have stood down surf lifesavers after several hours searching for a missing diver south of Bermagui on the states Far South Coast.

The Surf Life Saving Far South Coast support operations team together with the Australian Lifeguard Service was tasked to Barragga Bay at 11am today.

As part of a full-scale multi-agency search, lifesavers provided two Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs), two Jetskis with swimmers, an additional swimmer and duty officer to the operation while the lifeguards assisted with a swimmer and a UAV operator from shore.

The team joined Police, Marine Rescue and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter in the search for the missing diver.

Far South Coast Director of Lifesaving Cheryl McCartney said the group assisted emergency services to the best of their capability, “Everyone worked together so well and they were very thorough with the search,” said McCarthy.

“We were able to utilise all our resources to help including when the helicopter had to return to base for refuelling, the UAV was able to take over with the aerial search until it could return.

“At around 3.00pm the Police stood our assets down. They were satisfied that we had completed all we could to assist with the search and their dive team was arriving on the scene,” she said.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said ahead of the weekend, that people visiting the coast should think before undertaking any activity. He cautioned that it's especially important for activities that are year-on-year responsible for a high number of drownings like rock fishing, diving or boating.

“It’s so important if you’re planning on doing an activity in the ocean or on our coastline that you take precautions that include checking conditions before you go via, telling someone when and where you’re going and equipping yourself with all the correct safety gear.”

*In 2018/19 there were 44 coastal drowning deaths. Rock fishing accounted for eight deaths followed by five caused by diving/snorkelling - see also 2018/19 NSW Coastal Safety Report


Friday 27 December 2019