A Wollongong fishing boat ran ashore at Kiama Downs today after its two-man crew struck engine trouble off Killalea.
Rough seas and wild south-westerly winds forced the vessel into a sand bank on Jones Beach at low tide about 11.30am.
Maritime services, water police and Lake Illawarra officers were called to assist the two men, who were travelling from Wollongong Harbour to Batemans Bay.
Lake Illawarra police officer Sergeant West said they were in good health and had done the right thing by allowing their boat to come ashore.
‘‘If they had stayed out at sea the boat could have started breaking up,’’he said.
However, he said there were concerns about 1600 litres of diesel fuel onboard the boat, which could become ‘‘an environmental nightmare’’ if the boat remained stranded.
‘‘The fuel makes the boat incredibly heavy and if the boat starts to break up it would mean there was diesel fuel all over the beach,’’ he said.
A salvage company will attempt to tow the boat into Kiama Harbour for repairs at high tide, about 7pm.
Sgt West said police would monitor the situation and look at draining the fuel if it was unable to be towed.