Two fishermen have died after being swept off rocks at a notorious fishing spot in the Illawarra region, where three men drowned just weeks ago.
Three weeks ago, another three men drowned in the same spot after being swept off the rocks and into the ocean at night.
Police along with the Toll Rescue Helicopter crew and a Surf Lifesaving inflatable rescue boat crew were alerted and began searching for the men.
Supt Smith paid tribute to the traffic and highway patrol officer who swam 100 metres to one of the fishermen, saying he was proud of the officer.
Two men and the officer were plucked from the water by lifesavers in an inflatable rescue boat.
They were then transported to Port Kembla Beach where one man was given CPR, however he was unable to be saved.
A statement from NSW Ambulance said four people were taken to hospital, including two in a stable condition, but the man winched from the water was critical and later died at Wollongong Hospital. A 42-year-old man is being treated in Wollongong Hospital for water inhalation and hypothermia.
Two other police officers suffered minor injuries during the rescue operation.
There is no further information available at this time on the identities of the men and inquiries are now underway.
It is not yet known what caused the incident but police sources said investigators believe the men were of Indian background from the Western Sydney suburb of Wylie Park.
Surf Lifesaving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said there was a risky swell on Friday night and it’s believed none of the men were wearing life jackets or personal devices.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene following reports the group were washed off the rocks at Hill 60 just before 7pm today.
One of the men who died had been wearing a lifejacket.
Following that incident, NSW Police Marine Area Command warned that while Hill 60 was a popular spot for fishing, it could also be incredible unsafe.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking to respond to a scene where previous lives have been lost despite the warnings”, Inspector Rees said.
“It was an extremely heroic effort.to do CPR on the rock platforms with still waves crashing over the rock platform”, he said.
Police and surf lifesavers on Saturday again issued warnings about the dangers of rock fishing.