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Two People Drown Off Cronulla


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Man swims to safety after two drown


July 25, 2009 10:38am

A MAN swam for up to a kilometre to reach safety when his fishing boat capsized near a south Sydney beach in the early hours of Saturday morning.

But two other people he was with drowned.

Two men and a woman left the Port Hacking boat ramp at Cronulla about 2.30am (AEST) today to go fishing, Detective Inspector Rohan Cramsie from Miranda police said.

They came into difficulty about 10 minutes later when a freak wave apparently struck their boat, throwing all onboard into the water.

"That is a possibility, we certainly wouldn't be ruling anything out," Det Insp Cramsie said.

A 32-year old man from Randwick, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, managed to swim for about a kilometre to Wanda Beach.

About 3.30am he raised the alarm at a nearby house.

A search involving a rescue helicopter, water and local police as well as local surf lifesavers ended when two bodies were found 500m off Wanda Beach at 7.15am.

At this stage the identities of those involved are unknown and their relatives have not been notified.

Det Insp Cramsie could not say if the deceased man and woman were strong or weak swimmers.

Nor could he say if those on board had been drinking alcohol before the incident.

The six-metre aluminium fishing boat the three people were in has been taken to Sans Souci water police for forensic examination.

The matter has also been referred to the coroner.

Edited by MallacootaPete
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Couple die after boat capsizes off Sydney beach


July 25, 2009 06:40pm

A NIGHT-TIME fishing trip turned to tragedy for a couple who drowned when the boat they were on board capsized off a Sydney beach.

Two men and a woman left the Port Hacking boat ramp at Cronulla about 2.30am on Saturday to go fishing, police said.

It is thought a freak wave struck the runabout, throwing all three people into the water.

The boat's owner, a 32-year-old man from Randwick, swam about a kilometre to shore to raise the alarm.

The bodies of the man and woman were not recovered until about three hours later at 7.15am by police.

The victims have been identified by media outlets as Norman Baeger, 38, and mother-of-four Sue Brown from Liverpool.

The couple have a four-month-old baby who the victim's sister Theresa Brown said was Ms Brown's "priority".

A report into the deaths will be prepared for the coroner, including whether the people in the boat had been drinking alcohol, Detective Inspector Rohan Cramsie said.

The surviving man who was taken to hospital for treatment after reaching shore, will be spoken to as part of investigations.

The surviving man is "obviously very cold, suffering from minor hypothermia, but also very distressed about the two other occupants who he believed were still in the water," Insp Cramsie said.

It is believed he was released from hospital late on Saturday.

Family and friends were in shock on Saturday after hearing of the deaths.

"He worked hard, he was a decent man," Adolph Baeger told Network Ten of his son, Norman.

The six-metre aluminium fishing boat has been recovered by water police and will undergo forensic examination.

People who regularly fish in the area say the waters are known to be unpredictable with a sandbar not far from shore.

"There are a number of reefs that are a bit difficult to navigate, especially at the time of day that they were out there," Sutherland Council spokesman Brad Whittaker told the Nine Network.

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I am sick of the media and police commenting on alcohol when they don't know jack crap.

They should say nothing if they do not know. People don't read follow up reports or the coroners reports.

For all anyone knows they are tea toddlers ( no I don't either)

Everytime anything hapens on a boat the public read that dross and assume people were intoxicated at some level and should have been wearing jackets. That makes the publics view of boaties very poor and then even it is a most minor contributing factor in the survival or passing away it gets onto the statistics.

We are all going to be pissed off when we have to wear life jackets day and night and a lot has to do with media reporting as general public doesn't understand that you are not required to by law.

The quote from the police should have been. Alcohol - we have no idea but it will be checked like in any invesigation.

Life Jackets - well they were probably there as we have recovered several off the beach but we are yet to confirm they were off this boat. There was no requirement to be wearing them. Bodies recovered were or were not wearing jackets. There is no requirement for them to have been wearing them. If in fact they know facts.

Very sad situation this for all the families involved and I wish the media and police wouldn't beat the story up.

These official comments and reporting do nothing for all boaties out there.

Sorry for the rant

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I was out in front of Kurnel at 445am watching the search take place. Can say that conditions were very good at that time this morning. They possibly could have been heading across Bate bay and hit a wave at Merrles reef. I went over to have a look at daylight not knowing what had happened. The boat was a fair way north of Wanda and there were 4-5ft waves breaking all the way out on Merrles. With no light it would not have been a pretty area to be in. Tide would have been on the bottom as well.

Very sad for the two that lost thier lives and ther families.

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Was speaking to a few local cops in shire last night while at work about this, from what they said the people were from western suburbs, female that drowned had a few kids, youngest 4 months old .

Sad indeed but 2am around there in a tinnie?

This post has been edited by Admin

Edited by swordfisherman
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Shocking news, Sounds like they have hit one of the many bommies that run off the merries reef system....

Those bommies run south for around 300-400m and most rise quickly out of around 10-12m of water so even if you were watching your sounder you could be in a few feet of water in a blink of an eye. Very dangerous place to be on a very dark night

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