Big seas claim more rock fishing casualties

A SPATE of rock fishing related deaths already this year has led to renewed calls for anglers to wear lifejackets when fishing ocean rocks.

In the most recent incident a rock fisherman remains missing after falling into the ocean on the NSW Central Coast.

It has been reported the 22-year-old was fishing off rocks at the notoriously dangerous Snapper Point, south of Newcastle, on Sunday morning when he slipped and fell.

His friends threw life rings but couldn’t save him.

Water police and surf life savers have been scouring the coastline but large seas have made the search difficult.

Just after 6am (AEDT), the man, who was fishing on rocks with friends, was seen to slip and fall into the water.

Thirteen people have died on that stretch of coastline in the past five years.

The search comes just over a week after a woman was washed off rocks at nearby Lake Munmorah.

Her friend jumped in to save her and a police officer then dived in after both of them.

The officer kept the pair, who weren’t wearing life jackets, afloat until a rescue helicopter airlifted the woman to hospital, where she later died.

In other rock fishing related incidents, two fishermen were swept off rocks and drowned in Victoria this month. A 67-year-old man was fatally swept into the sea while fishing at Sorrento on January 10, and a 26-year-old man at Portland on January 18.

For information on rock fishing safety go to:

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