Bystanders pulled a 52-year-old Kiama man from the water on Friday morning after he became caught in a strong current while spearfishing in Storm Bay, Kiama.
Kiama council lifeguard supervisor Andy Mole said members of the public had rushed to the man’s aid after he managed to grab hold of rocks and began calling for help.
‘‘We believe he panicked in the water and was struggling to get back on rocks,’’ Mr Mole said.
‘‘Lucky for him there was a bystander who jumped into the water and assisted this gentlemen back on to the rocks.’’
A second member of the public then came to the man’s aid, before lifeguards, police, SES volunteers and the fire brigade assisted in moving the man to safety.
Mr Mole said the large number of emergency services was required due to the difficulty reaching the man.
‘‘The position of the patient – he was in a bad way,’’ he said.
‘‘Storm Bay is very hard to access and through a combined effort we extracted the patient to the headland.’’
Mr Mole said the man was having difficulty breathing when he was pulled on to the shore.
Lifeguards then provided the man with first aid before he was taken to Shellharbour Hospital for observation. The man’s wife had been on headland at the time of the incident, and Mr Mole said it served as a reminder for people to always notify friends or family when taking to the water.