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 weekend fishing trip off NSW’s coast led to a drowning of a man. 
  • Seven men were on board a small tinnie that capsized in rough surf. 
  • Six of the men survived thanks to surfers in the sea and surf lifesavers. 
  • The lifesavers were performing a drill on sand when the boat capsized.  

A weekend fishing trip that ended in disaster was ruined when a man drowned in rough surf after his tinnie capsized. This could have resulted in multiple deaths. His friends were only saved because of a nearby lifesavers training exercise.

The local surf lifesaving club in Bulli at Waniora Point pulled the six other men out of the water. They were conducting training on sand with boats and jet skis ready to go. 

Steven Pearce, CEO of surf lifesaving NSW, stated that it was the fastest response that could have occurred. “We would have multiple fatalities if that sliding door moment hadn’t happened.” 

Surf lifesavers had been conducting a drill on the sand (pictured) with boats and jet skis ready to go

Surf lifesavers were conducting a drill in the sand (pictured), and had boats and jet skis ready for action. 

The men had piled in the small tinnie to fish at the popular spot south of Sydney on Sunday when the boat capsized. 

Four of the men were trapped beneath the vessel.

Marine Area Command and Wollongong Police Area Command officers joined lifesavers at this scene. 

“Seven people went in the water, six emerged.” One person has died, which is very unfortunate,’ Darren Brown from the NSW Police stated. 

Pearce said that surfers and beachgoers who help lifesavers are heroes. 

He explained that “They were the ones who were capable of keeping these persons afloat until they could get our life savingrs out there,”

Paramedics and police joined surf lifesavers as the treated the men on the sand (pictured)

Paramedics and police joined the surf lifesavers to treat the men on the sand (pictured). 

During the rescue, one surfer was hurt.

Two of the men were taken by helicopter to the hospital, while another was driven by an ambulance. 

Norm Rees, a NSW Ambulance Inspector, said that the scene was difficult and chaotic.

“Thirty-five Years in the Job, It’s One of the Biggest I’ve Been To.”

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Woniora Point in Bulli (pictured) south of Sydney is a popular weekend spot for surfers and fishermen

Woniora Point, Bulli (pictured), south of Sydney, is a popular spot for fishermen and surfers.