3 May 2023

Search resumes for fisherman washed off rocks at Kiama Blowhole

| Claire Fenwicke
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Kiama blowhole

The search has resumed for a missing fisherman who was washed off rocks at Kiama Blowhole. Photo: File.

Rescue efforts have resumed today (Wednesday, 3 May) for a fisherman who was washed off rocks at the Kiama Blowhole yesterday evening.

Emergency services were called about 6:45 pm on Tuesday (2 May) to reports a man in the water had failed to resurface.

Marine Rescue NSW Illawarra Zone Duty Operations Manager Stuart Massey said they had dispatched a vessel to search the water last night, but had no luck.

“Nothing was found unfortunately last night, so we’re back out there today,” he said.

The man is believed to be aged in his 70s, and had been rock fishing when he was washed away.

Mr Massey said it’s understood he was not wearing a life jacket.

“A very simple piece of safety equipment, which definitely could have changed this outcome 180 degrees,” he said.

“Until we hear otherwise we are treating this as a rescue mission.”

A statement from Marine Rescue Shellharbour, the command which searched for the fisherman last night, also stressed the importance of wearing a life jacket while rock fishing.

“We understand some of you have been rock fishing since the beginning of time and life jackets may not suit what you’re wearing on the day, but a life jacket may be the difference between you going home alive, in a body bag or possibly never found,” it stated.

“Why put the ones you love through such pain. Give yourself the best chance of going home alive by wearing a life jacket.”

Search map

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers on board Shellharbour 30 searched this area of water on Tuesday (2 May) evening. Photo: Marine Rescue Shellharbour/Facebook.

Surf Lifesaving NSW is conducting the close water search today, with Marine Rescue assigned a 40 sqm nautical mile of water to search further out.

“We’ve received our co-ordinates from Water Police after they’ve done their drift modelling, so we’re in one of the areas with the highest probability of detection,” Mr Massey said.

He commended everyone involved in the rescue efforts so far, which have already taken hours.

PolAir and police divers are also on scene as part of the search for the fisherman.

More to come.

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