The ‘sliding doors moment’ which saved SIX lives after a boat capsized off a popular coastal spot – as devastated locals watched one man’s body pulled from the water
- A man has drowned following a weekend fishing trip off the NSW coast
- Seven men were aboard a small tinnie which capsized in rough surf
- Six of the men were saved by surfers in the water and surf lifesavers
- The lifesavers had been conducting a drill on the sand when boat overturned
A weekend fishing trip which ended in disaster after a man drowned when the tinnie he was on capsized in rough surf could have ended in multiple deaths, with his friends only saved thanks to a lifesavers training exercise taking place nearby.
The other six men were pulled from the water courtesy of the local surf lifesaving club at Waniora Point in Bulli, who happened to be conducting training on the sand with jet skis and boats ready to go.
‘It’s the quickest response that could have happened… if that sliding doors moment hadn’t occurred we would have multiple fatalities,’ surf lifesaving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said.
Surf lifesavers had been conducting a drill on the sand (pictured) with boats and jet skis ready to go
The men had piled into the small tinnie for a fishing trip on Sunday at the popular coastal spot south of Sydney when the boat overturned.
Four of the men had been trapped underneath the vessel.
Officers from Wollongong Police Area Command and Marine Area Command joined lifesavers at the scene.
‘Seven people went into the water, six came out. One has died unfortunately which is terrible,’ Darren Brown from NSW Police said.
Mr Pearce added that beachgoers and surfers in the water who helped lifesavers were heroes.
‘They are the ones who were able to hold these persons afloat until we could get our life savers out there,’ he explained.
Paramedics and police joined surf lifesavers as the treated the men on the sand (pictured)
One surfer was injured during the rescue.
Two of the men from the tinnie were airlifted by helicopter to hospital while another was driven by ambulance.
‘It was challenging scene… it was very chaotic,’ NSW Ambulance Inspector Norm Rees said.
‘Thirty-five years in the job, it’s one of the biggest ones I’ve been to.’
Investigations into the incident are ongoing.
Woniora Point in Bulli (pictured) south of Sydney is a popular weekend spot for surfers and fishermen