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Angler Washed To Death Off Bondi Rocks


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Angler washed to death off Bondi rocks

A 76-year-old man died after being swept off the rocks while fishing in North Bondi this morning.

The man's death comes on the same day the State Government launched a study into rock-fishing fatalities, as part of a $12-million program to boost recreational fishing.

The man had been fishing with a relative on a rock platform about five metres above the water, Inspector Michael Flood from Waverley police said.

"It appears he's just been washed off the rocks," he said.

Ambulance crews were called to Military Road about 7.30am and the body was retrieved from the water, an ambulance spokeswoman said.

There were few other details about the man.

Relatives were still being contacted, Inspector Flood said.

It was not yet clear how the man died and a report was being prepared for the coroner.

"He may not necessarily have drowned. He may have hit his head on the rocks. He may have had a heart attack ... there could be a multitude of reasons as to why he's dead," the ambulance spokeswoman said.

Inspector Flood could not confirm reports the man had been hanging on to the rocks before falling.

"He may have been scrambling to get back [on to the platform] - but I don't know [about the truth of those reports]," he said.

NSW Fisheries' rock-fishing safety advice instructs people to "never fish in exposed areas during rough or large seas" and to be aware of swell and tidal conditions.

The swell at most of Sydney's beaches was expected to be high today and the Bureau of Meteorology had broadcast warnings of dangerous surf conditions.

The fisherman's death came as the State Government announced a study into rock-fishing fatalities, as part of a program to boost recreational fishing.

The study will examine the circumstances surrounding fishing-related deaths and aims to find ways to improve safety, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said.

"Recreational fishing is enjoyed by many people in NSW but there are safety issues that we are keen to address through better education and understanding," he said.

It was not known how many people had died recently while rock fishing, but there were 74 rock-fishing fatalities in NSW between 1992 and 2000, NSW water-safety body SafeWaters reported in 2003.

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