A man has died and three others are fighting for life in hospital after a boat capsized on the New South Wales south coast.
Seven men were on a fishing trip about 10am on Sunday when their tinny overturned in rough waters at Waniora Point in Bulli.
Four of the men became trapped under the boat.
“Seven people went into the water, six came out. One has died unfortunately which is terrible,” NSW Police’s Darren Brown said.
Officers from the Wollongong Police Area Command were at the scene along with Surf Life Savers and the Marine Area Command.
“The members of the community and the surfers out in the water were onto the boat before the lifesavers got there are heroes,” Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said.
“They are the ones who were able to hold these persons afloat until we could get our life savers out there.”
One of those surfers was among the injured.
Two patients were airlifted to Sydney hospitals, another taken by ambulance to Wollongong.
“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.”
The local surf living saving was preparing for a training exercise at the same time the men in the tinnie ran into trouble.
“It is the quickest response that could have ever occurred for this incident,” Mr Pearce said.
“If the moons hadn’t aligned, if the sliding door moment hadn’t occurred, we would multiple fatalities.”
Authorities are investigating the incident.