SHORTLY after midday today a rock fisherman was washed into the surf at Boulders Beach, Lennox Head.
The 30-year-old man, who was not wearing a lifejacket, was in the water for 10 minutes while surfers made their way to assist him. The group paddled him to shore and pulled him from the water in an unconscious state, before commencing CPR.
Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Support Operations jetski, Lennox Head SLSC members, as well as the Australian Lifeguard Service, NSW Ambulance and police and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter from Lismore, were tasked to the scene.
The surfers continued CPR until ambulance officers arrived. The man was pronounced deceased shortly after.
The man was fishing at the treacherous 'Iron Peg' location. Despite being a popular rock fishing spot, it has seen a number of incidents and fatalities in the past. At the time of the incident, it was high tide with a moderate to dangerous surf grading 3-4 feet.
Surf Life Saving NSW duty officer Jimmy Keogh praised the valiant efforts of the surfers to get the man to shore: "it was commendable work by surfers after identifying the rock fisherman in distress. They worked together to get him to shore in tricky conditions and immediately performed CPR as required until medical professionals arrived. This is a tragic end to the long weekend."
Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said "it has been a tragic long weekend for our volunteer members, we can't stress enough the importance of taking responsibility of yourself when visiting the coast.
"Please stop and think before putting yourself, your friends and family and our first responders in danger."
NSW Surf Lifesavers performed 274 rescues this Easter long weekend.
There have been two coastal drowning deaths this Easter long weekend, and 34 since July last year.
Rock Fishing Safety Tips:
Check the weather, surf conditions and tides before going fishing
Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
Always wear a lifejacket
Wear appropriate non-slip footwear and light clothing
Always fish with a friend
Check the warnings signs for information about the area
Never turn your back to the water
Do not try and retrieve anything that has fallen into the water
Do not jump in if someone falls into the water - wait for assistance or throw an 'Angel Ring' or Lifebuoy if there is one nearby
Additionally, boaters are urged to always check conditions prior and to log on with their local Marine Rescue Base via radio or using the Marine Rescue App. Visit www.mrnsw.com.au for more information
Call Triple Zero - Police to report an in-water emergency.