The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has saved a drowning man off Little Bay in Sydney’s east on Saturday.
The NSW Police Force called the Westpac Life Saver at 1.45 pm, advising that a rock fisherman had been swept off rocks on the southern side of Little Bay.
The helicopter crew were airborne in 3 minutes and had located the drowning man some 90 seconds later.
“He had been in the water for 20 minutes and he had already been swept about 100 metres offshore and was lying on his back,” said Rescue Crew Officer, Tony LeMarseny.
LeMarseny was winched into the water and grabbed the 36 year old man in a rescue harness before they were both winched back on board the Westpac Life Saver.
“He was drifting in and out of consciousness,” said Mr LeMarseny. “Once he was on board the helicopter he commenced to vomit up a large amount of sea water. I don’t think he would have last another 30 seconds.”
The Westpac Life Saver landed on the nearby Coast Golf Course and handed the man over to waiting paramedics. He has been taken to Prince of Wales Hospital by ambulance.
The helicopter crew described coastal conditions as being dangerous.
“Large swells of up to two metres were hitting those cliffs at Little Bay [on Saturday],” said Westpac Life Saver Crew Chief, Tony Wood.
The Bureau of Meteorology and Surf Life Saving NSW both issued warnings about the dangerous surf conditions over the weekend.