One person dead and six hurt after boat capsizes near Wollongong

A person has died and three people are in a critical condition after a fishing boat capsized off the Wollongong coast in New South Wales with eight people on board.

Police say emergency personnel were called to waters off Waniora Point at Bulli, south of Sydney, after reports of a vessel overturning shortly before 10.30am on Sunday.

A team of critical care doctors and paramedics was also dispatched via three ambulance rescue helicopters.

Police officers and surf life savers helped as eight people were retrieved and taken ashore. Rescuers performed CPR on four patients until the arrival of paramedics.

Despite the frantic rescue and resuscitation efforts of lifesavers and bystanders, one person could not be revived and died at the scene.

Another was airlifted to Sydney’s St George hospital, a third to Liverpool hospital and a fourth to Wollongong hospital by road. All three were in a critical condition.

Two patients were also taken Wollongong hospital in a stable condition and the final two assessed on scene without requiring further care.

Senior paramedic Norm Rees described the job as one of the most difficult he had attended in 34 years of service.

“Initial reports suggested there was several people clinging to the side of a boat that was quickly capsizing,” Ch Insp Rees said.

“I want to say a huge thank you to the surf lifesavers and bystanders that risked their lives to try to save these people. They gave the them every chance of survival.

“It was a heartbreaking scene – what was meant to be a great day out on the water has turned into an absolute disaster.”


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