The death of a rock fisherman in the Illawarra region is the latest in a series of recent drownings across the state, as the NSW Police Force and Surf Life Saving NSW encourages the community to be extra careful around waterways.
At about 12.50pm on Sunday January 2 2022, police and emergency services were called to Windang Island following reports of a man in distress in the water.
Officers from Marine Area Command and Lake Illawarra Police District responded and were told the man, who was not wearing a lifejacket, had been fishing on the rocks before being swept into the water.
Police and NSW Surf Lifesavers conducted an extensive search on the water, while the Toll Ambulance helicopter conducted aerial searches.
The body of a 21-year-old man was located about 1.20pm, before being winched from the water by the Toll Ambulance helicopter and returned to shore by Water Police.
A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.
Three other people have tragically drowned in waterways across the state in recent days, including another rock fisherman at Turimetta Beach in Warriewood, a 15-year-old boy at Shoalhaven River in Burrier, and an 18-year-old man in the Murray River at Albury.
Marine Area Commander Superintendent Murray Reynolds said police will continue to do everything in their power to keep people safe on the water.
“The most difficult part of our work is when someone dies or is seriously injured and we know it could have been prevented,” said Superintendent Reynolds.
“These deaths are incredibly tragic. Our heart goes out to the loved ones of the people who recently lost their lives in the water,” said Mr Reynolds.
Images: Darren Malone