Police divers to unlock rock-fishing tragedy

Snr Const Garry Webster, of Port Kembla Water Police, searches for the missing fisherman off the breakwater at Port Kembla. Picture: GREG TOTMAN
Snr Const Garry Webster, of Port Kembla Water Police, searches for the missing fisherman off the breakwater at Port Kembla. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Police believe divers hold the key to the location of a Sydney fisherman who was swept to his possible death off Port Kembla more than a week ago.While police have been combing the surface of the water near where the man went missing, a treacherous swell has prevented divers from approaching the area immediately adjacent to rocks where the tragedy occurred.

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  • SLIDESHOW: Search launched for missing fisherman"At the moment, that's our best asset, the divers," said Port Kembla Water Police Senior Constable Garry Webster."But they can't get in until the sea is calm."The 31-year-old man from Hurlstone Park was rock fishing at the foot of Heritage Park just after 9pm last Sunday when he was hit by a freak wave as he was packing up to leave.The last known sighting was by a rescue helicopter the night of his disappearance, when he was spotted floating face down in the water, but they lost sight of him shortly after.Intensive searches were held daily; a grey spray jacket was located last Monday, although police could not confirm whether it belonged to the missing man.On Wednesday, a wallet containing the man's identification was found by divers, in the vicinity of where he was last seen, together with a pair of black nylon tracksuit pants.Snr Const Webster said the operation was scaled back on Friday, although land and sea patrols had been conducted by water police throughout the weekend."I know this is traumatic for the family, but basically we are waiting for the seas to abate so we can get the divers in," he said.A small shrine with incense and religious offerings continues to be maintained by family members at the scene.