Port Kembla tragedy: two men die after being swept off rocks where three drowned in January

Port Kembla tragedy: two men die after being swept off rocks where three drowned in January

February 13, 2021 0 By Hitz

Police say the pair and another man were swept into the sea at Hill 60 near Fishermans Beach

Two men have died after being swept off rocks into the sea at Port Kembla in New South Wales’s Illawarra region. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

Australian Associated Press

Two men have died after being swept off rocks into the sea at Port Kembla in New South Wales’s Illawarra region at the same spot where three men drowned three weeks ago.

Police say the pair and another man, from Lakemba and Wiley Park in western Sydney, were swept into the sea just before 7pm on Friday at Hill 60 near Fishermans Beach.

Two of the fishermen, aged 38 and 31, died. A 42-year-old man is being treated in Wollongong hospital for water inhalation and hypothermia.

NSW Ambulance crews, a rescue helicopter, police and a Surf Lifesaving inflatable rescue boat crew were alerted and a search for the men was launched.

Police said a highway patrol officer entered the water with a flotation device and swam 100m out to the men.

Two men and the officer were retrieved from the water by the rescue boat crew who brought them to Port Kembla beach.

CPR was performed on one of the men but he died at the scene.

The Toll Ambulance Rescue Helicopter crew winched a third man to safety and he was taken to Wollongong hospital where he later died.

NSW police and surf lifesavers have been praised for their heroic efforts to save the men.

“The actions of our officers, our surf lifesaving partners, our ambulance officers and the toll helicopter … certainly saved one person’s life,” NSW police superintendent Dean Smith told reporters on Saturday.

He said that two officers suffered minor injuries when they were hit by a wave while spotting for the rescue helicopter.

Police and surf lifesavers on Saturday again issued warnings about the dangers of rock fishing.

“We want people to be aware of the danger, we want them to be aware of the environment they’re going into,” Smith said.

Surf Lifesaving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce said there was a dangerous swell on Friday night and it is believed none of the men were wearing life jackets or personal devices.

“It was an extremely heroic effort … to do CPR on the rock platforms with still waves crashing over the rock platform,” he said. “It just would have been a scene of havoc.”

NSW Ambulance Inspector Norm Rees said: “No words can describe the chaotic scene that paramedic crews and other first responders were faced with this evening.

“It was absolutely heartbreaking to respond to a sc