A hapless fisherman who underestimated the tidal flow into Lake Illawarra has sparked an after-hours rescue, complete with infrared search technology.
The man went into the middle of the lake Friday afternoon, when the low tide allowed him to walk.
When the tide came in he found himself suddenly submerged waist/chest high, about two hundred metres from shore.
Surf Life Saving Illawarra duty controller Anthony Turner said the man was able to access his phone and dial triple-zero shortly before 6.40pm.
Rescuers launched an inflatable rescue boat at Windang – a rarity for nighttime.
“After a 20-minute search, using our infrared camera, they were able to locate a red glow in the water,” Mr Turner said.
“He was standing up.
“Apparently he’d been there for some time.”
Crew from Windang Surf Life Saving Club and Illawarra’s surf life saving duty officer carried out the rescue.
“Any rescue at night is inherently dangerous to the crew,” Mr Turner said.
“They did a great job.”
The man was “immensely happy to see the surf lifesavers”.
He was suffering from the effects of exposure but declined an ambulance.