Authorities have called off a search that began at Kiama this morning after unattended fishing gear was discovered on a rock shelf, suggesting a missing fisher.
The gear was found at Loves Bay, a small inlet on the southern side of Easts Beach at Kiama.
Police were notified about 9.20am, sparking a dramatic influx of search and rescue resources, including three boats, a rescue lifesaver helicopter and the Polair police chopper.
The search was called off about 12.20pm after the sea search and other inquiries yielded nothing.
South Coast Lifesaving branch president Steve Jones said efforts would resume if a missing person were reported.
‘‘In an instance where you suspect that someone’s been washed off rocks it’s best to husband as many resources as you can to the site to provide initial, maximum coverage,’’ he said.
‘‘That will then allow you to make a proper determination on whether you are actually looking for a missing person or not.
"At this stage we don't believe there's anybody missing."