A man has died and four others have been rescued after being swept off rocks while fishing at Tathra on the state’s far south coast on Saturday.
The group were fishing on a rock platform to the south of Tathra Headland when they were washed off the rocks by a rogue wave shortly before 1pm.
Local police officers, assisted by a Westpac Rescue Helicopter and NSW surf lifesavers, searched the area surrounding the popular fishing spot.
A NSW Surf Lifesaving statement said two of the men who were dragged out to sea by the waves were able to scramble back onto the rocks, with the remaining three pulled out of the water by inflatable rescue boats.
As a result of being immersed in the water, two of these men required CPR.
One of the men responded favourably to the treatment by lifesavers, while the other, believed to be in his 50s, died at the scene.
Conditions at the time of the incident are understood to be “choppy” with strong winds and wave sets of between 2-3 metes reported by local lifesavers.
Neither the deceased man or the other man requiring CPR were wearing a lifejacket at the time they were washed into the water, a NSW Surf Lifesaving statement read.
On Friday, Surf lifesavers and the Bureau of Meteorology warned rock fishers, in particular, to be “aware of deceptive conditions especially when getting onto and off exposed platforms”.
Rock fishing is widely recognised as one of the most dangerous sports in Australia, with an average of eight people losing their lives to the sport every year in NSW alone.
Saturday’s incident adds to the spate of drowning deaths that have plagued the state’s waterways over the summer holiday period. About twenty people have drowned since Christmas in NSW.
Violent swells are expected to lash the NSW coast for the remainder of the weekend.