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Big South Coast seas claim the life of a rock fisherman

Photo: Sue Hutcheson Photography

An angler has died after being swept off rocks at Merry Beach, Kioloa, south coast of NSW this morning.

Emergency services were called to Merry Beach, Kioloa, shortly after 7.30am (Saturday 22 July 2017) following reports a man had been swept off rocks and into the ocean.

Officers from Shoalhaven Local Area Command, with the assistance of Westpac Life Rescue Helicopter attended and located a man faced down deceased in the water.

It is not known whether the man was wearing a life jacket.

The man has not been formally identified.

A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

This incident has prompted police to remind rock anglers to follow these safety tips every time they venture out:

* Always wear a life jacket

* Make enquiries and check weather and conditions before you leave home

* Observe first/fish later: watch your intended fishing spot to get an idea of the conditions over a full swell/wave cycle

* Carry safety gear; head protection, as well as a float and line to help anyone else who might be washed into the water.

* Never fish by yourself and always stand within sight of each other

* Make sure you let family and friends know where you are going and when you’ll be back

* Carry a mobile phone

* Never fish in exposed areas during rough or large seas and be aware that conditions may change dramatically in a short period of time

* Stay alert. Never turn your back on the sea

* If waves, the weather or swell threaten your fishing spot, leave immediately

* If in doubt, don’t go out

* In the event of an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Further safety information can be found at:

Multilingual rock fishing safety brochures can be downloaded from the website:

In addition, ‘angel rings’ or life buoys have been installed at black spots along the state’s coast by the Australian National Sport fishing Association, with the support of the Department of Sport and Recreation and NSW Sporting Injuries Insurance.

The flotation devices are located on rock platforms and easily accessible in case of an emergency.

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