Friday, September 17, 2021

Multi-agency search continues at South West Rocks for missing spearfisherman

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Surf Life Saving New South Wales, Media Release, 5 February 2021

A large, multi-agency search is continuing this morning for a 53-year-old spear fisherman who went missing at South West Rocks yesterday afternoon, 4 February.

Rescue team at South West Rocks
Photo: SLSNSW

Surf Life Saving NSW assets, including four IRBs (rubber duckies), RWCs (jetskis), and UAVs (drones), are currently involved in the search for the missing man on the NSW Mid North Coast.

South West Rocks fishing rock
Photo: SLSNSW

It is believed the man was spear fishing with his son when a large wave pushed them onto rocks. The man was swept back into the water and has not been seen since.

The missing man was wearing a camouflaged patterned, blue and green wetsuit, yellow-tipped snorkel and one black flipper.

SLSNSW rescue op at South West Rocks
Photo: SLSNSW

The Surf Life Saving NSW Support Operations callout team have released dye packs into the water to track the currents and drift patterns at the location where the man was last seen.

Police and Marine Rescue NSW on-water assets are also involved in the search and rescue operation in the area around Trial Bay and Laggers Point, South West Rocks.

South West Rocks
Photo: SLSNSW

There have been 27 coastal drownings since 1 July 2020 – with six fatalities since 1 January 2021.

View 2020 Coastal Safety Report for more stats on NSW coastal activity and information. 

Beach Safety Tips

  • Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, for your nearest patrolled beach check the BeachSafe app or website
  • Read the safety signs for information about the beach and ask a lifesaver or lifeguard for safety information
  • Always swim with someone else so you can look out for each other, and always supervise children around the water
  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • If you need help in the water, stay calm and attract attention by raising one arm
  • In an emergency, dial Triple Zero.

For information about patrol times, weather, and beach access restrictions visit the Beachsafe.org.au Website or Download the App.

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