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Rock Fisho Drowns


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A bit more info in this latest tragedy from the Illawarra Mercury:

The night was pitch black and there was a large swell building along the ledges of Honeycomb Rocks at Port Kembla when a father and son from Sydney's west were taken by a large wave and swept into the ocean.

The two were among a handful of late-night rock hoppers taking advantage of the popular fishing spot on Monday when the wave struck about 10.50pm.

Water police, the ambulance rescue helicopter, police dog squad and a pilot vessel from Port Kembla arrived at the scene soon after and began the rescue mission.

Sergeant Roger Mayer entered the water with a life ring, and with the guidance of a rescue helicopter crewman was able to locate the 46-year-old son from Lakemba, who was winched to safety.

But it was too late for the 71-year-old father from Strathfield, who was found drowned a short time later.

The father's name has not been released. The son remains in Wollongong Hospital in a stable condition.

There were six rock-fishing deaths in the Illawarra between 2000 and 2006 and this latest fatality again highlights the dangers of the activity.

A 2003 NSW Government Water Safety Taskforce report found 74 people lost their lives while rock-fishing along the state's coastline between 1992 and 2000. The report named Port Kembla as one of eight rock-fishing black spots in the state.

Honeycomb Rocks is located near Hill 60 in an area known as Red Point. The area is favoured among anglers for bonito, striped tuna, tailor and salmon, but it's also renowned as one of the most dangerous rock-fishing venues in the Illawarra.

Stan Weber has lived in a house overlooking Honeycomb Rocks for more than 40 years. He reckons there have been more than 30 drownings at the spot in that time.

John Aldridge and Bruce Mitchell from the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard at Port Kembla, said there was little authorities could do to prevent people from undertaking dangerous fishing practices.

"They are there at all hours of the night ... even if you put a fence around it you couldn't stop them," Mr Aldridge said.

Two flotation rings funded by the Australian National Sports Fishing Association's "angel rings" project are installed at Honeycomb Rocks.


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So very sad indeed

Only 10 mins from were i live but there have been so many deaths.

How do you educate people of the dangers of rock fishing it is such an extremley dangerous sport.

You have to have the utmost respect for the ocean and never underestimate it.

To think you would travel so far to get a feed of fish and lose your life is mind boggling.

It is so sad for everyone invovled.

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