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There is no missing swimmer at Gillards – its a massive hoax

IAN CAMPBELL of About Regional reports: 17 AUGUST 2019

Photo: Bega Valley SES Units.

The time, energy and concern of emergency services looking for a missing swimmer on the Far South Coast over two and half days has been a huge waste. There is no missing man, the story is a big fat lie designed to escape fraud charges.

A land, air, and sea search was launched just before dusk on Wednesday (August 14) from Gillards Beach between Tathra and Bermagui.

The story was that a 42-year-old Victorian man had gone for a swim and not returned, police at the time reported that the man’s brother had found his siblings belongings on the beach and raised the alarm.

None of it is true and has been revealed as a hoax with the man now on the run from police.

An extraordinary effort involving PolAir, Eden Water Police, NSW Ambulance, State Emergency Service, Marine Rescue NSW, Surf Rescue NSW, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service has been combining the coast – all in vain over Thursday and Friday.

Estimates put the cost of the whole operation at around $1 million.

Photo: Twitter @MarineRescueNSW.

Chief Inspector Peter Volf says every effort will be made to bring the fraudster to justice, “it’s very disappointing, so much expense and time wasted making every effort to find this man at sea.”

“It was a very well run police operation by Marine Area Command and local police, supported by good detective work, a great multi-agency operation the community can be proud of.”

The man, who invented an identical twin as part of the scam, is more devious than violent and isn’t considered a danger to the public.

Photo: Twitter @SLSNSW. ***** This article first appeared in About Regional

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